April 12, 2024

Boyle Talks: Cary Whitehead Discusses His Career and Boyle’s Culture


In this series of Boyle Talks, Cary Whitehead discusses his rich experience in the real estate industry and working with Boyle for more than 55 years.


Gary: I’m Gary Thompson and we’re here for another episode of Boyle Talks. Today we’ll be talking with Cary Whitehead, who’s an Executive Vice President at Boyle. Cary, you’ve been here since 1995. Why do people want to give Boyle a loan?

Cary: We are conservative by nature. We’ve done loans with companies since 1933, when the company was founded. We’re very much a relationship borrower. We try to mitigate all our risk that we can. We fix rate. 97% of our loans are fixed rate, so we get we don’t get caught in an updraft when interest rates start moving. We generally do 10 to 25 terms. We stagger our maturity, so we don’t ever get caught in one year where we have a lot of loans coming to.

Gary: And we pay the notes.

Cary: And we pay. We’ve never defaulted in the history of the company.

Gary: Which is a big deal.

Cary: Yeah, there aren’t many 90-year-old companies that can say that. That’s primarily for the load, leverage level we maintain, and the quality of the ownership of the company. It’s a fine family that just believes in doing what they say.

Gary: You mentioned that from a finance standpoint we’re very conservative here at Boyle. Tell us what that means. Does it matter that Boyle still owns most of the buildings that we operate? Does that matter to a lender?

Cary: It does because they know we build a better product knowing we’re going to keep it. Developers generally, called merchant developers, build the product as cheaply as they can because they’re only going to own it for a few years and they’re going to sell it. Where we keep product as long as we can keep it, frankly 15, 20, 30 years until we feel like we’ve maxed out the product or the neighborhood has changed. Otherwise, we keep it and we finance that way. We look for moderate leverage because when dollars are free, when the lenders are trying to get money out the door, we could leverage higher than we do, but we don’t because we want to be in the position where when the cycle changes and the money is not as available, the lenders still are delighted to do business with us. They know we’re going to pay it off, and they know we don’t over leverage. So, long term it’s a better strategy for the whole concept of Boyle.

Gary: We’ve worked together in various capacities over the years. It’s been fun to work with you, and I’ve watched you how you have been very successful previously and in the company. What’s your favorite thing about working at Boyle?

Cary: I’d say the integrity. Not only of the people who work here but more importantly the ownership, the family. The lending community likes to see. They like to touch and feel the owners. They like to become comfortable with them and how they do business and what kind of character they have. It’s always a pleasure that you can confidently and truthfully go to a lender and tell him this is going to happen, and that’s going to happen. And know what it will and not worry the owner’s going to pull the rug out from under. He isn’t going to do what we’ve committed to, so it’s a pleasure to work with people like that.

Gary: That’s happened in multiple generations, and that’s very unusual in any family business. But, it’s very consistent here, and as I’ve done these interviews with other people, that word floats to the top almost every time, integrity. And, really what that comes down to is doing what you say you’re going to do.

Cary: Precisely.

Gary: We work for people that do that, and that’s very exciting.

Cary: And if you’re a lender, that’s really important. Their jobs depend on their loan portfolio paying off when it’s due and not having loan workouts, so that’s one of the great things about working here.

Boyle Talks Email Sign Up

Sign up to receive the latest edition of Boyle Talks delivered directly to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.