Debra A. Cafaro is an American business executive, who is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ventas, Inc., an S&P 500 healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT) with enterprise value of $37 billion that owns nearly 1,300 healthcare properties located through the U.S., Canada and the UK. Cafaro joined Ventas in 1999 as CEO and President when the company’s market cap was about $200 million and it was in dire financial shape and has been widely credited with the Company’s turnaround and its subsequent success.
Under Cafaro’s leadership, Ventas was named the most successful financial publicly traded company for the first decade of the new century and in 2013 Ventas was voted as one of the world’s most admired real estate companies by Fortune magazine. Ventas is well-regarded for sustaining long-term performance; for the 16 years ended December 31, 2015, total shareholder return was 3,981.3 percent, compared with 507.5 percent for the MSCI US REIT Index and 89.0 percent for the S&P 500 Index. The Company's compound annual total shareholder return (TSR) has exceeded 27 percent since January 1, 2000.
Cafaro has received many professional recognitions. Harvard Business Review has named Cafaro in its list of the top 50 "Best Performing CEOS" in the world since 2014. She is one of only 23 CEOs named by Harvard Business Review for four consecutive years and one of only two women on the 2017 list. In 2017, Forbes Magazine again recognized Cafaro as one of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women, one of 19 business leaders on the annual list. In 2016, Forbes identified her as the Top-Performing Women CEO by Total Return, which was estimated at 2,373 percent since she assumed the leadership role at Ventas in March 1999. In 2015 GlobeSt.com named her as one of only nine "game-changers" in commercial real estate during the last 15 years. In recognition of her outstanding success and track record in business in both the U.S. and the world, she was selected by Crain's Chicago Business as one of the "Most Powerful Women in Business", she has been named as one of the "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare Magazine four times, and as one of their "Top 25 Women in Healthcare" for the third time in 2017. She was also selected as one of the "Top 50 Women in World Business" by the Financial Times. In June 2017, Cafaro was nominated Chair-Elect of the Real Estate Roundtable after serving a term as secretary. Her term as Chair of the Real Estate Round Table will begin July 2018.
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