Who We Are

Terrell F. Gates III
Founder and CEO
Robert Schweizer
Chief Investment Officer
Will Strong
Chief Financial Officer
John Sweeny, Jr.
Acquisitions Director - Healthcare

Terrell F. Gates III, Founder and CEO of Virtus Real Estate, is ultimately responsible for all strategic decisions. Mr. Gates is a third generation commercial real estate investor and operator who began his career in the student housing industry in 1992. Since then, Mr. Gates has held numerous principal level positions in real estate, law and finance. Prior to founding Virtus, Mr. Gates was Director of the GGS Private Banking group at Merrill Lynch. Since establishing Virtus in 2003, Mr. Gates has been responsible for the sourcing, underwriting and oversight of Virtus’ 35 real estate investment funds and partnerships that have invested in more than 165 commercial properties with a combined acquisition cost of more than $2.4 billion. After completing his undergraduate work in economics and Spanish from the University of Texas, Mr. Gates earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University Law School and is a licensed attorney.

Robert Schweizer, Chief Investment Officer, is responsible for leading the Virtus property teams in acquisition and asset management in overseeing operating partners and property level operations to assure Fund objectives are met. Prior to joining Virtus, Mr. Schweizer served as Chief Executive Officer of MPC Properties, a joint venture between Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and MPC Holdings, which became one of the largest real estate development companies in Southeastern Europe. From 1999 to 2010 Mr. Schweizer worked at Merrill Lynch, where he became Director of the Global Principal Investments Group in London, England in 2002 and was head of all Merrill Lynch real estate investments in Central Europe, Spain and Scandinavia. Mr. Schweizer began his finance career as an analyst at JP Morgan Chase Securities and then CIBC World Markets. He received his B.A. in finance from Boston College.

Will Strong Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for oversight of the Virtus accounting and finance team, debt sourcing and institutional investor relations. Mr. Strong began his career in 1992 at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York as an equity securities analyst in the asset management division. After continuing his career at Security Capital Group Incorporated, a global strategic real estate group with $5.1 billion deployed in 16 portfolio investments, he transitioned to Forum Partners Investment Management LLC, a global real estate equity fund sponsor. At Forum, Mr. Strong was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer where he and the management team grew the eight member team to over 50 members worldwide. Forum had $2 billion in assets under management invested in real estate companies throughout Europe and Asia. Mr. Strong received both his B.A. and his M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University.

John Sweeny,Jr., Acquisitions Director – Healthcare, is responsible for the firm’s Healthcare investing efforts, including Senior Living, Medical Office, and other ancillary healthcare service properties. He is focused on strategy, sourcing operating partners and investments opportunities, and overseeing all aspects of execution. Prior to joining Virtus, Mr. Sweeny spent seven years at Arcapita, an international private equity firm focused on originating, structuring, executing and managing institutional U.S. real estate investments, including 74 senior living assets. Prior to Arcapita, Mr. Sweeny worked in the real estate investment banking group at Wachovia Securities in New York and in their corporate and investment banking group in Charlotte. Throughout his career, Mr. Sweeny has advised, structured or arranged financing on over $8.5 billion worth of real estate transactions. Mr. Sweeny holds a B.S. in Political Science from the College of Charleston and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill) Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a member of the Executive Board of American Seniors Housing Association. John is also a former member of the Board of Directors of Senior Citizens Services of Atlanta, also known as Meals on Wheels Atlanta.

Kevin White
Acquisitions Director

Kevin White, Acquisitions Director – Alternative Multifamily, is responsible for the firm’s multifamily investing efforts including student housing and workforce housing.  He is responsible for developing investment strategy, sourcing joint venture partners and investment opportunities, and overseeing all aspects of underwriting, due diligence, investment structuring, closing and disposition.  Since joining Virtus in 2011, Kevin has acquired more than $860 million of projects.  He holds a B.B.A. in Finance from the Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Virtus, Kevin was the Director of Acquisitions for a privately held real estate investment company. He was responsible for leading an acquisitions team that successfully closed $150 million of commercial real estate in 2 years. He has experience with numerous property types in sourcing, underwriting, due diligence, lender management, closing process, asset management and dispositions.  Kevin is the President and one of the founding members of Club Blue of the Austin Area, which is a non-profit that supports the Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area.

Nick Worontzoff
Director of Advisory Capital Development
Bernie Wasserman
Regional Director of Capital Development – Offshore
Elizabeth Mahan
Capital Development Manager
Brooke Akins
Investor Relations Manager

Nick Worontzoff, Director of Capital Development, has more than 25 years of financial service experience. He was most recently the head of business development and a minority owner at Evermore Global Advisors, an asset management firm providing investment advisory services for mutual funds and institutional accounts in separate Global and European strategies. In this role he was tasked with developing and implementing a sales, marketing and investor relations strategy for what was a start-up mutual fund company. He was a critical part of the team that raised over $400 million in assets during his tenure. Prior to Evermore Nick was the director of sales at Clearbrook Financial, a leading provider of fee-based managed account services to the institutional investment community. His responsibilities included managing the sales and marketing efforts of a full-service broker/dealer and investment advisor providing front, middle, and back-office services, product distribution and wealth management services to fee-based advisors, family offices, trust companies, institutional consultants and banks. From 1995 to 2007, Mr. Worontzoff served in a number sales and senior sales positions at Fidelity Investments, directing sales and marketing for Fidelity’s Registered Investment Advisor Group in the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast region. He can be reached at nworontzoff@virtusrec.com

As the Senior Director of Capital Development, Bernie Wasserman is responsible for international capital development and a key member of the onshore capital development team.  Bernie has over 25 years of experience in financial services.  Prior to joining Virtus in 2015, Bernie led product development and marketing efforts to promote complex investment products and strategies at: IDB Capital Corp. (Head of Wealth Management Sales); Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (Director – Investment Product Origination); HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. (SVP – Structured Fund Products); Lehman Brothers Inc. (VP- Structured Credit Trading), and; BNP Capital Markets (VP – Latin American Investment Banking). Bernie holds a Bachelor of Science from New York University in International Marketing and Finance.

Elizabeth Mahan, Capital Development Manager, is responsible for supporting general capital development efforts and managing all day to day functions for the Director of Capital along with all field sales associates. In this role, Ms. Mahan is also responsible for managing and expanding new and existing relationships within the Registered Investment Advisor, Family Office and Broker Dealer channels.

Prior to Virtus, Ms. Mahan worked for Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, where she was a Client Development Specialist based in Westlake, TX. Previous experience includes time spent at Charles Schwab Advisor Services, Ameriprise Financial, Envision Credit Union, and CUNA Mutual Group.

Ms. Mahan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida State University.

Brooke Akins, Director of Investor Relations, is responsible for managing and expanding relationships with the firm’s investors.  In this role, Mrs. Akins serves as the main point of contact for all investor requests and works cross functionally within the firm to address investment, operations, legal and documentation needs. She also assists with marketing functions by developing targeted communications including website and reporting.  Prior to joining Virtus, Mrs. Akins spent nearly eight years at PTV Healthcare Capital, a venture capital firm specializing in expansion stage healthcare investments. In addition to supporting investor relations efforts there, Mrs. Akins also bolstered deal flow production through the development of entrepreneur-focused content such as events, podcasts, and videos.  Mrs. Akins holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Terrell F. Gates III
Founder and CEO

Terrell F. Gates III, Founder and CEO of Virtus Real Estate, is ultimately responsible for all strategic decisions. Mr. Gates is a third generation commercial real estate investor and operator who began his career in the student housing industry in 1992. Since then, Mr. Gates has held numerous principal level positions in real estate, law and finance. Prior to founding Virtus, Mr. Gates was Director of the GGS Private Banking group at Merrill Lynch. Since establishing Virtus in 2003, Mr. Gates has been responsible for the sourcing, underwriting and oversight of Virtus’ 35 real estate investment funds and partnerships that have invested in more than 165 commercial properties with a combined acquisition cost of more than $2.4 billion. After completing his undergraduate work in economics and Spanish from the University of Texas, Mr. Gates earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University Law School and is a licensed attorney.

Robert Schweizer
Chief Investment Officer

Robert Schweizer, Chief Investment Officer, is responsible for leading the Virtus property teams in acquisition and asset management in overseeing operating partners and property level operations to assure Fund objectives are met. Prior to joining Virtus, Mr. Schweizer served as Chief Executive Officer of MPC Properties, a joint venture between Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and MPC Holdings, which became one of the largest real estate development companies in Southeastern Europe. From 1999 to 2010 Mr. Schweizer worked at Merrill Lynch, where he became Director of the Global Principal Investments Group in London, England in 2002 and was head of all Merrill Lynch real estate investments in Central Europe, Spain and Scandinavia. Mr. Schweizer began his finance career as an analyst at JP Morgan Chase Securities and then CIBC World Markets. He received his B.A. in finance from Boston College.

Will Strong
Chief Financial Officer

Will Strong Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for oversight of the Virtus accounting and finance team, debt sourcing and institutional investor relations. Mr. Strong began his career in 1992 at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York as an equity securities analyst in the asset management division. After continuing his career at Security Capital Group Incorporated, a global strategic real estate group with $5.1 billion deployed in 16 portfolio investments, he transitioned to Forum Partners Investment Management LLC, a global real estate equity fund sponsor. At Forum, Mr. Strong was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer where he and the management team grew the eight member team to over 50 members worldwide. Forum had $2 billion in assets under management invested in real estate companies throughout Europe and Asia. Mr. Strong received both his B.A. and his M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University.

John Sweeny, Jr.
Acquisitions Director - Healthcare

John Sweeny,Jr., Acquisitions Director – Healthcare, is responsible for the firm’s Healthcare investing efforts, including Senior Living, Medical Office, and other ancillary healthcare service properties. He is focused on strategy, sourcing operating partners and investments opportunities, and overseeing all aspects of execution. Prior to joining Virtus, Mr. Sweeny spent seven years at Arcapita, an international private equity firm focused on originating, structuring, executing and managing institutional U.S. real estate investments, including 74 senior living assets. Prior to Arcapita, Mr. Sweeny worked in the real estate investment banking group at Wachovia Securities in New York and in their corporate and investment banking group in Charlotte. Throughout his career, Mr. Sweeny has advised, structured or arranged financing on over $8.5 billion worth of real estate transactions. Mr. Sweeny holds a B.S. in Political Science from the College of Charleston and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill) Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a member of the Executive Board of American Seniors Housing Association. John is also a former member of the Board of Directors of Senior Citizens Services of Atlanta, also known as Meals on Wheels Atlanta.

Kevin White
Acquisitions Director

Kevin White, Acquisitions Director – Alternative Multifamily, is responsible for the firm’s multifamily investing efforts including student housing and workforce housing.  He is responsible for developing investment strategy, sourcing joint venture partners and investment opportunities, and overseeing all aspects of underwriting, due diligence, investment structuring, closing and disposition.  Since joining Virtus in 2011, Kevin has acquired more than $860 million of projects.  He holds a B.B.A. in Finance from the Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Virtus, Kevin was the Director of Acquisitions for a privately held real estate investment company. He was responsible for leading an acquisitions team that successfully closed $150 million of commercial real estate in 2 years. He has experience with numerous property types in sourcing, underwriting, due diligence, lender management, closing process, asset management and dispositions.  Kevin is the President and one of the founding members of Club Blue of the Austin Area, which is a non-profit that supports the Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area.

Nick Worontzoff
Director of Advisory Capital Development

Nick Worontzoff, Director of Capital Development, has more than 25 years of financial service experience. He was most recently the head of business development and a minority owner at Evermore Global Advisors, an asset management firm providing investment advisory services for mutual funds and institutional accounts in separate Global and European strategies. In this role he was tasked with developing and implementing a sales, marketing and investor relations strategy for what was a start-up mutual fund company. He was a critical part of the team that raised over $400 million in assets during his tenure. Prior to Evermore Nick was the director of sales at Clearbrook Financial, a leading provider of fee-based managed account services to the institutional investment community. His responsibilities included managing the sales and marketing efforts of a full-service broker/dealer and investment advisor providing front, middle, and back-office services, product distribution and wealth management services to fee-based advisors, family offices, trust companies, institutional consultants and banks. From 1995 to 2007, Mr. Worontzoff served in a number sales and senior sales positions at Fidelity Investments, directing sales and marketing for Fidelity’s Registered Investment Advisor Group in the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast region. He can be reached at nworontzoff@virtusrec.com

Bernie Wasserman
Regional Director of Capital Development – Offshore

As the Senior Director of Capital Development, Bernie Wasserman is responsible for international capital development and a key member of the onshore capital development team.  Bernie has over 25 years of experience in financial services.  Prior to joining Virtus in 2015, Bernie led product development and marketing efforts to promote complex investment products and strategies at: IDB Capital Corp. (Head of Wealth Management Sales); Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (Director – Investment Product Origination); HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. (SVP – Structured Fund Products); Lehman Brothers Inc. (VP- Structured Credit Trading), and; BNP Capital Markets (VP – Latin American Investment Banking). Bernie holds a Bachelor of Science from New York University in International Marketing and Finance.

Elizabeth Mahan
Capital Development Manager

Elizabeth Mahan, Capital Development Manager, is responsible for supporting general capital development efforts and managing all day to day functions for the Director of Capital along with all field sales associates. In this role, Ms. Mahan is also responsible for managing and expanding new and existing relationships within the Registered Investment Advisor, Family Office and Broker Dealer channels.

Prior to Virtus, Ms. Mahan worked for Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, where she was a Client Development Specialist based in Westlake, TX. Previous experience includes time spent at Charles Schwab Advisor Services, Ameriprise Financial, Envision Credit Union, and CUNA Mutual Group.

Ms. Mahan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida State University.

Brooke Akins
Investor Relations Manager

Brooke Akins, Director of Investor Relations, is responsible for managing and expanding relationships with the firm’s investors.  In this role, Mrs. Akins serves as the main point of contact for all investor requests and works cross functionally within the firm to address investment, operations, legal and documentation needs. She also assists with marketing functions by developing targeted communications including website and reporting.  Prior to joining Virtus, Mrs. Akins spent nearly eight years at PTV Healthcare Capital, a venture capital firm specializing in expansion stage healthcare investments. In addition to supporting investor relations efforts there, Mrs. Akins also bolstered deal flow production through the development of entrepreneur-focused content such as events, podcasts, and videos.  Mrs. Akins holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.