Robert H. Gidel is the Managing Member of Liberty Capital Advisors, a Florida LLC, which provides management and advisory services to among others, Liberty Partners LLC. Since 1997, Liberty has invested in over 30 private and publicly traded real estate and finance focused operating companies. Through his investment in companies and partnerships, Robert has assumed both governance and management roles in the companies in which Liberty has invested.
In April of 2009, Robert was appointed to a 4 year term on the Investment Advisory Council to the State of Florida Board of Administration, which oversees the Florida Retirement System along with other managed State Funds. He was elected Chairman of the IAC in March of 2011. Also in March of 2010, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the UFICO (University of Florida Investment Company), which manages the University’s endowment fund.
Since 1999, Mr. Gidel has been a member of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Compensation committee of Developers Diversified Realty, a Cleveland based retail REIT (NYSE:DDR) with ownership in over 600 shopping centers in US, Brazil, and Puerto Rico.
Robert has been a trustee and member of the audit committee of Fortress Registered Investment Trust and a director and member of the audit committee of Fortress Investment Fund II, LLC, both of which are registered investment companies based inNew York City, since 1999.
From July, 2007 until April, 2009, he was a member of the Board of Directors and subsequently elected President and CEO of Ginn Companies LLC, one the largest privately held resort development and management organizations in the Southeast with over 3,000 employees. The company is owned by private equity funds sponsored by Lubert-Adler (Philadelphia).
He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of LNR Property Holdings, a private multi-asset real estate company based inMiami, from 2005-2007. LNR is an owner/servicer of CMBS, property developer, and residential land owner. He was also a member of the Cerberus Operations Group in New York City, which provides consulting services to Cerberus Capital Management, who is the majority owner of LNR Holdings.
He was Lead Director of the board of directors of Global Signal Inc., a Sarasota based cell tower REIT (NYSE: GSL), of which he was chairman of the governance committee and a member of the compensation committee until it was merged into Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI) in 2007. Global Signal was initially formed by affiliates of Fortress Investment, Greenhill Capital, and Abrams Capital. He was formerly a member of the board of Directors of US Restaurant Properties, a Dallas based retail REIT (NYSE:USV), which merged into Trustreet Properties (NYSE: TSY) in 2005.
Mr. Gidel served from 1996-2005 as the Independent Member of the Investment Committee of the private equity Lone Star Funds (I, II, III, IV, & V).
From 1999 until 2001 (when it was merged with DDR) he was a member of the board of Directors, compensation committee and audit committee, of American Industrial Properties, a Dallas based industrial REIT (NYSE:IND).
Through April 1998 (when it was merged with EastGroup Properties), Mr. Gidel served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Meridian Point Realty Trust VIII, a San Francisco based industrial REIT (AMEX:MPF). Through April, 1997 (when it was merged with Camden Properties), Mr. Gidel served as President, Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Paragon Group, Inc., a Dallas based REIT (NYSE:PAO) that owned multifamily apartments located in the southern states, and from 1995 through 1996 served as President of Paragon Property Services, a related subsidiary providing property management services until it was merged with Insignia. From 1995 until 1996, Mr. Gidel was a Partner and the Chief Operating Officer of the general partner of the Brazos Fund (Dallas), and served as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Brazos Asset Management, the general partner of Brazos Partners from 1993 to 1995. Both Brazos entities were real estate opportunity funds sponsored by Robert M. Bass. Prior to 1993, Mr. Gidel was President and Managing Director of Alex. Brown Kleinwort Benson Realty Advisors (Baltimore), Executive Vice President of Heller Financial (Chicago), and Regional Manager of New York Life (Washington, DC).
Mr. Gidel is a graduate of the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida. He is a member of the Board of Directors (and the Executive Committee) of the University of Florida Foundation and Chairman of the Finance Committee. He was elected a Distinguished Director of the Board of Gator Boosters, Inc. and a member of the Executive Committee. Rob is also a Hoyt Fellow and a member of the Hankamer School of Business Advisory Board at Baylor University in Texas. In 2011, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Florida House, the State of Florida’s “embassy” in Washington, DC and also in 2011 elected to the Board of the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Florida. Robert is a Founding Member of the Children’s Movement based in Miami, Florida.
Rob and his wife, reside in Windermere, Florida. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.