Schmoozing -- an art form that lies at the nexus of networking and social engineering -- is a vital skill for any ambitious business leader, writes Steve Tobak. As long as you're authentic, engaging and respectful of people's boundaries, schmoozing will help get you almost anywhere in life. "Anyone who says that schmoozing isn't critical to business success is just being disingenuous," Tobak writes.
Blackstone Group is said to be in talks with Simon Properties to join the company in its attempt to acquire General Growth Properties. If the two are able to venture together, they could increase the $10 billion original bid that GGP has turned down.
Expectations of consolidation -- prompted by Simon Property Group's bid for General Growth Properties -- are provoking a rally in REIT stocks. Vanguard REIT ETF climbed in response; shares of GGP rose in anticipation of a bidding war.
Ventas is among the handful of health care REITs expected to make acquisitions this year. "We do believe we will have the opportunities to recognize our growth and diversification effort in 2010," CEO Debra Cafaro says.