Michael Brennan has orchestrated more than $10 billion in industrial real estate transactions, forming some of the most successful firms in the business, including First Industrial, in the course of his 25-year career. His current firm is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year with over $1 billion in real estate investments. He literally wrote the book on the industrial property sector and has received accolades for his leadership achievements from both the CRE community and the broader business world. In addition to his current position at Brennan Investment Group, he is executive director of the University of Wisconsin’s James A Graaskamp Center for Real Estate.
Yet all of these achievements do not define who Brennan is as a leader, if the input we received from his staff and colleagues is any indication. When discussing Brennan – who today is chairman and managing principal of Brennan Investment Group – they use words like “caring,” “kind,” “tireless,” “committed,” “nurturing” and, above all, “inspirational.” His success story, combined with a genuine appreciation for, and openness with, the people who work with him is what makes him an ideal leader and one that CRE professionals want to follow.
Here is just a handful of the hundreds of comments we received about Brennan in our survey: “I feel energized and excited to come to work each day.” “It’s great to come to work every day and know who is steering the ship.” “He is one of us: he knows the businesses, knows the demands of our job and is willing to do any job in our company.” “His openness and authenticity are the two attributes I noted immediately the first day I met him.” “He makes everyone in the organization feel like their tasks are crucial to the overall progression of the company.” “He is the glue that holds our company together.”
And, from a professional who actually left the firm to branch out, “Upon my departure, he was very supportive and complimentary during the interview process. Michael Brennan is the best boss I have ever worked with throughout my career.”