Ventas Names Chief Information Officer, VP of Investor Relations

Ventas (NYSE: VTR) has two new members on its senior management team.

The Chicago-based health care real estate investment trust (REIT) announced on Friday it hired Bhavana Devulapally as chief information officer (CIO) and senior vice president. Juan Sanabria also joins the firm as vice president, investor relations. The pair will report to Ventas Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Probst.

Devulapally will lead Ventas’ technology team, and will be responsible for the development and implementation of strategy for its information systems, infrastructure, cyber security and data analytics. She comes to Ventas from Hyatt Hotels, where she spent the past 12 years leveraging technology to improve internal operating procedures.

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In her most recent role as Hyatt’s VP of enterprise applications, she managed a 125-person team in the strategy and implementation of projects for the company’s property, finance, human resources, communications and legal systems, and oversaw Hyatt’s support services including a 24-7 service desk for its 100,000 global colleagues and a network operations center to monitor proactively all systems and infrastructure.

Sanabria was most recently Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s director of equity research. A highly regarded analyst, he covered multiple real estate asset classes there, including the health care REITs. During Sanabria’s 12 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, he also worked as a senior research analyst specializing in Australian REITs, as well as Asian-Pacific institutional equity sales.

At Ventas, Sanabria will be the principal liaison with the equity market and analysts. His responsibilities include frequent and transparent communication of Ventas’s strategy, performance and prospects to the market.

“Bhavana and Juan are proven talents who will elevate Ventas’s performance, enhance our capabilities and drive our continued success,” Probst said in a statement.

Devulapally and Sanabria join Ventas as the company is weathering some headwinds in its senior housing portfolio performance. The company’s Q3 2018 earnings report showed same-store senior housing NOI increased 1.3%, but the strong performances of its medical office and triple-net portfolios — 3.5% and 3%, respectively — were tempered by a 2.7% decline in senior housing operating NOI. An analysis of Ventas’ earnings by St. Louis-based financial services firm Stifel (NYSE: SF) indicated Ventas’ same-store senior housing occupancy is down 60 basis points year-over-year, and but was offset by a 180 basis point improvement in revenue per occupied room (RevPOR).
During the company’s Q3 earnings call last October, CEO Debra Cafaro expressed optimism about future senior housing performance. he highlighted Ventas’ $194 million acquisition of Brookdale Battery Park in Manhattan as the type of strategic investment opportunity the REIT is chasing, and emphasized that the company will continue to look for opportunities to create value within its current investment strategy.

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