2012 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Christie Kelly

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Duke Realty

Sphere of Influence: After a long career at GE, Kelly is the executive responsible for the financial performance of one of the city’s biggest commercial real estate firms.

kelly-christie-15col.jpg(IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Christie Kelly joined Duke Realty on one of the worst days ever for Real Estate Investment Trusts: March 4, 2009, the day the RMZ REIT index hit close to an all-time low.

With that as the backdrop, the new executive vice president and chief financial officer needed to sit down immediately and “understand from our investors and analysts what some of the things are that they expected from a high-performing REIT.”

Kelly, Duke Realty CEO Dennis Oklak and their team ultimately laid out a plan and operational metrics that would show what they were trying to do and how well they were doing. And they’ve been successful in executing their strategy. This year, from a total shareholder return perspective, they’re outperformed the S&P 500, S&P 400 and the RMZ index.

“We’ve been able to execute the strategy,” she said, “and the strategy is really resonating with our investors.”

The job fits Kelly’s career trajectory, but it’s not one she expected to have when she was in high school. Kelly grew up in Pittsburgh, the oldest of six children, and thought about studying architecture. But she loved real estate and finance and ended up majoring in economics at Bucknell University. General Electric recruited her out of college into its financial management leadership program.

For someone who had spent years working as a laborer in a refractory contracting company to make money for school, the idea of employment with GE trumped driving a forklift and cutting brick.

The program that Kelly went through at GE allowed her to rotate through different positions, including a job on the GE corporate audit staff.

“You’re exposed to a lot of different leaders around the world and put into assignments that are demanding,” she said. “I was really able to experience a lot in a little bit of time, which I think broadens your perspective.”

She also had the opportunity to move internationally, spending a number of years living and working in Europe and Asia. Twenty-plus years passed quickly.

Then Lehman Brothers—with whom she had worked closely while at GE—recruited her for its global real estate group. She’d relocated 12 or 13 times with GE and didn’t want to subject her family to additional moves. So she moved on to Lehman Brothers in 2007, then joined Duke Realty three-plus years ago after Lehman Brothers folded.

As CFO, Kelly is responsible for all of the operational finance areas of the company, including taxes, financial analysis, deal review, accounting and financial planning. The job, she said, has proven to be a great fit—as has Indianapolis. Kelly and her husband of 25 years, John, and their children—Olivia, 16, and Jack, 11—have made Zionsville their home. The kids are active in sports, and John, a former stock trader and aspiring writer, is a stay-at-home dad—and has been for as long as they’ve had children.

Kelly said she’s achieved as much as she has because of her family and because of “hard work, being passionate about what I’m doing, really having that love of who you’re with, where you are and what you’re focused on.”•


Click here to return to the Women of Influence landing page.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

  2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

  3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!