Mack-Cali Becomes Veris Residential

Corporate Governance

Governance at a Glance

Chair
Member
Chair of the board
Financial expert
Board Members Audit Compensation Nominating and Corporate Governance Strategic Review ESG

Tammy K. Jones    

Audit
Strategic Review
ESG

Mahbod Nia

Strategic Review
ESG

Alan R. Batkin  

Audit

Frederic Cumenal

Compensation
Strategic Review

A. Akiva Katz

Compensation
Nominating and Corporate Governance
Strategic Review

Nori Gerardo Lietz

Nominating and Corporate Governance
ESG

Howard S. Stern  

Audit
Nominating and Corporate Governance
ESG

Victor B. MacFarlane  

Audit
Compensation

Tammy K. Jones

Tammy Jones is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Veris Residential and formerly served as Lead Independent Director since June 2020. Ms. Jones is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Basis Investment Group, a multi-strategy commercial real estate investment manager that deploys capital on behalf of some of the largest public pension plans, sovereigns and family offices in the country. She has over 25 years of commercial real estate experience investing and lending across the capital stack and all property types with a focus on multifamily and office.

Prior to joining Basis, Ms. Jones invested in and loaned on CRE assets on behalf of large pension funds and institutional investors including CWCapital (the U.S. debt investment platform owned by Caisse de dépôt, one of the largest pension fund managers in Quebec ) from 2004 to 2009, serving as head of CW’s fixed and floating rate Capital Markets Lending Division and closing approximately $6B in transactions and GMACCM (one of the largest CRE lenders, owned by GM) between 1997 and 2004, where Ms. Jones was a Senior Vice President of GMACCM subsidiary (now Berkadia) (GMAC) and part of the leadership team responsible for creating GMAC’s Capital Markets lending division. Prior to her seven years with GMAC, she held various positions on the equity and asset management side of the business at Equitable Real Estate (largest pension fund advisor and investment management firm at the time).

Ms. Jones is currently an Independent Director of Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI). In addition, Ms. Jones formerly served as an Independent Director for Monogram Residential Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MORE), which was acquired by an affiliate of Greystar Growth, an income fund, yielding a premium of 22% over the share price. Ms. Jones Chairs the Real Estate Executive Council, a trade organization dedicated to creating a pipeline of diversity in commercial real estate and is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council.

Ms. Jones was selected as one of Crain’s New York Business’ Notable Black Leaders and Executives of 2021, received the 2020 Cornell Baker Industry Leader Award, received the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) 2019 Finance Catalyst Award and was recognized as one of The Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business in 2017. Ms. Jones received a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

Mahbod Nia

Mahbod Nia currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Veris Residential, Inc. and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since June 2020..

Previously, Mr. Nia was Chief Executive Officer of NorthStar Realty Europe Corp (“NRE”), a NYSE listed REIT focused on European properties from 2015 to 2019. He also served as a member of NRE’s investment committee and board of directors from 2018 to 2019. From 2017 to 2019, Mr. Nia was also a Managing Director at Colony Capital Inc. (formerly Colony NorthStar) and member of the European Steering Committee.

Mr. Nia served as Managing Director, Head of European Investments of NorthStar Asset Management Group (“NSAM”) from 2014 to 2017, where he worked to establish the company’s European investment platform, rapidly growing it to $2.6bn in Assets Under Management across 9 countries and 5 asset classes. This platform was spun-off in 2015 to create NRE, which was sold to AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets in September of 2019, realizing a 16% IRR for shareholders since its inception. Prior to joining NSAM in 2014, he acted for PanCap Investment Partners, a European real estate investment and advisory firm. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Nia was a Senior Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. Prior to 2007, he served in various positions at Citigroup Inc. (formerly Salomon Brothers). He received a First Class Honours degree in Economics for Business from the University of Westminster (London, UK) and a Master’s degree in Economics & Finance from the University of Warwick (Warwick, UK).

Alan R. Batkin

Alan R. Batkin has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Converse Associates, Inc., a strategic advisory firm, since 2013. From 2007 until 2012, Mr. Batkin served as Vice Chairman of Eton Park Capital Management, L.P., a global multi-disciplinary investment firm. Previously, from 1990 until 2006, Mr. Batkin served as Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., a geopolitical consulting firm that advises multi-national companies.

Mr. Batkin has extensive public board experience, as he has served on the Board of Directors of Pattern Energy Group Inc. since 2013, Omnicom Group Inc. since 2008, and Cantel Medical Corp since 2014. Mr. Batkin previously served on the Board of Directors of Hasbro, Inc., from 1992 until 2017.

Mr. Batkin received a B.S. from the University of Rochester and an M.B.A. from New York University Graduate School of Business.

Frederic Cumenal

Frederic Cumenal has served on the Board of Directors of Blue Nile, Inc., an online jewelry retailer, since 2017. Previously, Mr. Cumenal served as the Chief Executive Officer of Tiffany & Co. from 2015 to 2017 and as President from 2013 to 2015, and as Executive President with responsibility for sales and global distribution from 2011 to 2013. Prior to his service at Tiffany, Mr. Cumenal served for fifteen years in senior leadership positions in LVMH Group’s wine and spirits businesses, including as President and Chief Executive Officer of Moët & Chandon, S.A. Previously, Mr. Cumenal served as Chief Executive Officer of Domaine Chandon and was Managing Director of Moët Hennessy Europe. Mr. Cumenal also served as Executive Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Development at Ferruzi Group and was a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble, France S.A.S.

Mr. Cumenal has significant public board experience, having served on the Board of Directors of Constellation Brands, Inc. from 2016 until 2017 and the Board of Directors of Tiffany & Co. from 2013 until 2017.

Mr. Cumenal is a graduate of Institut d’Etudes Politiques and holds an M.B.A. from Ecole Superieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales.

A. Akiva Katz

A. Akiva Katz is Co-Founder and a Managing Partner at Bow Street LLC. He also serves as a director at TransAtlantis LLC. Prior to founding Bow Street, Mr. Katz served as a Managing Director at Brahman Capital Corp. from 2007 to 2011.

Mr. Katz received a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from York University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Mr. Katz’s qualifications to serve as a director include his extensive knowledge of financial markets, experience investing in real estate and his broad investing experience derived from serving at major investment firms.

Nori Gerardo Lietz

NNori Gerardo Lietz is a Senior Lecturer of Business Administration in the Finance and Entrepreneurial Management Units at Harvard Business School where she currently teaches Real Estate Private Equity and Venture Capital Private Equity.

Ms. Gerardo Lietz is the President of Areté Capital, a real estate advisory firm she founded in 2010. Previously, Ms. Gerardo Lietz served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Allele Fund in 2011. Ms. Gerardo Lietz was a Partner and Chief Strategist for Private Real Estate and a member of the firm’s Global Investment Committee at Partners Group Holding AG from 2007 to 2011. Ms. Gerardo Lietz co-founded Pension Consulting Alliance, Inc. in 1998 and served as a Managing Director while developing its real estate investment management and advisory activities until 2007. In 1985, Ms. Gerardo Lietz co-founded Public Storage Institutional, Inc., an institutional money management firm deploying pension capital to acquire real estate assets, where she served as Senior Vice President until 1988. Ms. Gerardo Lietz practiced law in the corporate department of Paul Hastings LLP from 1982 to 1985.

Ms. Gerardo Lietz is a former member of the Pension Real Estate Association Board of Directors and the Real Estate Research Institute Board of Directors.

Ms. Gerardo Lietz received an A.B. with honors from Stanford University in 1979 and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1982, where she was Chief Comment Editor of the UCLA Law Review.

Howard S. Stern

Howard S. Stern is the Founder and Principal of Stern & Associates, LLC, a full-service real estate advisory and consulting firm, which he founded in 2014. In addition to his real estate advisory practice, Mr. Stern is Principal and Co-Founder of DSHS Student Housing Investment Group, a real estate vehicle that focuses only on student housing. From 2010 to January 2014, Mr. Stern served as President and Director of Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. (“Hudson Pacific”), a California-based office REIT. In 2006, Mr. Stern co-founded Hudson Capital, the predecessor company of Hudson Pacific, and in 2010, Hudson Capital went public and upon going public was renamed and formed Hudson Pacific. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Stern served as Chief Investment Officer of Arden Realty, Inc. (“Arden Realty”), a twenty million square foot Southern California REIT that was sold to GE Capital in 2006. In this role, Mr. Stern was responsible for all facets of Arden Realty’s acquisition, disposition and structured finance activities. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Stern served as Vice President of the Archon Group, a subsidiary of Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he was responsible for leading all western region mezzanine financing and real estate asset management activities. From 1991 to 1995, he served as Vice President and Manager of First Federal Republic Bank and from 1987 to 1991, he served as Senior Asset Manager and Asset Manager for Unity Savings and Gibraltar Savings.

Mr. Stern holds a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.

Mr. Stern’s qualifications to serve as a director include his experience in the real estate advisory business, his extensive knowledge of the commercial aspects of the REIT sector and his entrepreneurial experience with the real estate industry.

Victor B. MacFarlane

Victor B. MacFarlane is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacFarlane Partners, a real estate investment management and development firm he founded in 1987 that acquires, develops and manages properties on behalf of institutional investors and its own account. He has primary responsibility for the firm’s investment management and development activities, chairs its investment committee and serves on its senior management committee.

Mr. MacFarlane has more than 40 years of real estate experience, during which he has worked extensively in property development, acquisitions, asset management and portfolio management on behalf of some of the world’s largest pension plans and institutions. Under his leadership, MacFarlane Partners pioneered the urban investment concept among institutional real estate managers in the 1990s and today is an industry leader in urban/smart-growth development. Through its urban real estate program, the firm has invested in $13 billion in properties totaling eight million square feet of commercial space and 15,000 multifamily housing units in major markets nationwide.

Mr. MacFarlane began his real estate career in 1979 with Aetna Life & Casualty Company, where he helped acquire and manage more than $1 billion in real estate assets. He later developed and managed, for his own account, an award-winning apartment community in Denver. In 1996, Mr. MacFarlane sold the $2 billion core separate-account investment management business of MacFarlane Partners to GE Capital and then served for three years as Chief Executive Officer of GE Capital Investment Advisors. During that period, he also spearheaded initiatives in Asia, Mexico and Eastern Europe for GE Capital Real Estate, an affiliate with $20 billion in real estate assets worldwide.

At the end of his contractual commitment in April 1999, Mr. McFarlane resigned from GE Capital and began rebuilding MacFarlane Partners as an investment manager focusing on urban properties and other high-yielding investments that, at its peak, managed $20 billion in real estate assets, and as entrepreneurial firm that invested in properties promoting smart growth, urban revitalization and sustainability. The firm in recent years has refocused itself as a real estate operating and development company, while maintaining its urban investment management business.

Mr. MacFarlane is a past recipient of a Distinguished Business Leadership Award from the USC School of Architecture; a Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2008 Executive of the Year Award from the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce; the National Inner City Economic Leadership Award from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City; the Trailblazer Achievement Award from the Global Diversity Summit, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of the District of Columbia.

Mr. MacFarlane serves on the boards of directors of Site Centers Corp., Overland Tandberg and the Real Estate Executive Council; the advisory board of the Robert Toigo Foundation; and the board of advisors for the UCLA School of Law. He also is a member and former director of the Pension Real Estate Association; a member and former trustee of the Urban Land Institute; and a member of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the World Presidents Organization.

Mr. MacFarlane received a B.A. in University Studies from the University of New Mexico, a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

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