Mack-Cali Names New Director as Two Executives Resign

Mack-Cali Realty Corp., an owner of properties in the eastern U.S., named the chief executive officer of an investment firm focused on real estate securities to a newly created board seat.

Jonathan Litt, CEO and founder of Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC, was appointed for a term expiring in 2016, Edison, New Jersey-based Mack-Cali said today in a statement. The move expands the board to 11 seats. In a separate statement, Mack-Cali said its chief financial officer and general counsel agreed to resign at the end of the month.

Litt’s Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm owns 477,300 shares of Mack-Cali, according to a regulatory filing today by the New Jersey company. With his appointment to the board, Litt agreed to standstill provisions that restrict him from engaging in proxy solicitations, according to the filing.

“Mack-Cali has a unique portfolio of superior properties and I look forward to working constructively with the other board members to maximize shareholder value and close the meaningful discount to underlying net asset value,” Litt said in the statement.

Shares of Mack-Cali lost 22 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 2.3 percent increase in the Bloomberg Real Estate Investment Trust Index. The stock today fell 0.6 percent to close at $22.11.

Litt last year pushed San Francisco-based apartment owner BRE Properties Inc. to consider a takeover and offered to buy the company with an investor group for about $4.6 billion. BRE agreed in December to be acquired by Essex Property Trust Inc.

‘Valuable’ Experience

Litt, a former Citigroup Inc. managing director and real estate analyst, agreed to support Mack-Cali’s slate of directors in 2014 and 2015, according to today’s filing.

“Jonathan’s experience as a sell-side real estate analyst, buy-side investor, and Mack-Cali stockholder will be valuable,” William Mack, Mack-Cali’s chairman, said in the statement. The company is focused on diversifying its holdings and increasing its focus on apartments, Mack said.

Mack-Cali owns 279 properties, mostly office buildings in New Jersey, according to its website. It has 12 multifamily rental buildings with more than 3,600 units.

Also today, Mack-Cali said Barry Lefkowitz, an executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Roger Thomas, an executive vice president and the company’s general counsel, agreed to resign March 31. The departures “will result in significant cost savings,” Mitchell Hersh, president and CEO of Mack-Cali, said in the statement.

‘More Efficient’

“The reorganization of our team will create a more efficient management structure and and facilitate our ongoing diversification into the multifamily sector,” Hersh said.

Thomas will stay on as a consultant through September and will be paid $300,000 for his work, Mack-Cali said. He also will receive a cash payment of $2.5 million, $476,888 in deferred retirement compensation and $73,800 in performance bonuses, in addition to company stock, according to the regulatory filing.

Lefkowitz will be paid $2.5 million in cash, $763,000 in deferred retirement compensation and $123,601 in performance bonuses, in addition to company stock, according to the filing.

Anthony Krug, the company’s chief accounting officer, will serve as acting finance chief, according to the statement.

Lefkowitz and Thomas both started at Cali Realty Corp., a predecessor to Mack-Cali, in 1994.

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