Mr. Carey began his career in international corporate finance in 1959 and brought the first foreign direct investment into Australia in 1960. He moved into the net leasing of corporate real estate in 1964 as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Hubbard, Westervelt & Mottelay (now Merrill Lynch Hubbard). Before starting W. P. Carey & Co. in 1973, he served as Head of Real Estate and Equipment Financing at Loeb, Rhoades & Co. and Vice Chairman and Director of Corporate Finance of duPont Glore Forgan Inc.
Mr. Carey founded W. P. Carey & Co. primarily to structure single-asset private investments. Over the years W. P. Carey & Co. LLC has evolved into the world's largest publicly traded limited liability company and currently owns and/or manages more than 700 commercial and industrial properties in 13 countries, representing more than 93 million square feet, valued at approximately $8 billion.
Educated at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, he received his ScD honoris causa from Arizona State University. In 1999, Mr. Carey served as the Executive in Residence at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Carey was a Trustee Emeritus of The Johns Hopkins University, where a popular undergraduate minor is the "W. P. Carey Program in Entrepreneurship and Management."
Mr. Carey's $50 million donation, paired with $50 million to be raised by the university, was responsible for launching the Carey Business School. This is the largest gift ever in support of business education at Johns Hopkins. The new school is named for his great great great grandfather, James Carey of Loudon, a prominent Baltimore businessman of the 18th and 19th centuries.