March 4, 2021 – Chicago-based Ferguson Partners has helped to place Mahbod Nia as chief executive officer for Mack-Cali Realty Corp., a leading real estate investment trust (REIT) based in New Jersey. Mr. Nia, who has served as a director of Mack-Cali since June, will succeed interim CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, who will serve as special advisor to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities, said Mack-Cali. Mr. Nia brings to Mack-Cali more than 20 years of real estate industry experience, most recently having served as CEO of NorthStar Realty Europe Corp. (NRE), a NYSE-listed REIT, where he was a member of the investment committee and board of directors. During his tenure at NRE, Mr. Nia oversaw a strategic transformation that drove per share net asset value growth of over 40 percent through a series of value enhancing property level and corporate initiatives.
“The powerful combination of Mahbod’s experience as a successful CEO of a public REIT and deep familiarity with Mack-Cali having served on the board, will enable him to hit the ground running,” said newly appointed board chair Tammy K. Jones. “His proven management expertise and track record of creating shareholder value – most recently as CEO of NRE, through repositioning, leasing and transacting in the sector – make him the ideal executive to lead Mack-Cali forward.”
A Well-Positioned Company
Mr. Nia said he was thrilled to lead Mack-Cali through its next chapter. “Having worked with the company in my capacity as a board member, it is clear to me that there are numerous parallels between the situation at Mack-Cali and the one we encountered at NRE,” he said. “I believe there is substantial value embedded within Mack-Cali, and, together with the board, we are well positioned to navigate the path to unlocking that value for shareholders over time.”
Prior to NRE, Mr. Nia served as managing director, head of European investments at NorthStar Asset Management Group, where he established and rapidly grew the company’s European investment platform to $2.6 billion in assets under management across nine countries and five asset classes. He subsequently oversaw the platform’s spin-off to create NRE in 2015 as well as the sale of the company. Previously, Mr. Nia held roles at Colony Capital Inc., Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Inc./ Salomon Brothers. He holds a first-class honors degree in economics for business from the University of Westminster and a master’s degree in economics and finance from Warwick Business School.
Mack-Cali Realty Corp. is an owner, manager and developer of premier office and multifamily properties in select waterfront and transit-oriented markets throughout New Jersey. Headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, the company is leading development, improvement and place-making initiatives for Harborside, a master-planned destination in its home city comprised of class A office, luxury apartments, diverse retail and restaurants and public spaces. A fully integrated and self-managed company, Mack-Cali has provided world-class management, leasing, and development services throughout New Jersey and the surrounding region for over two decades.
Founded in Chicago in 1989 by Bill Ferguson and Michael Herzberg, Ferguson Partners is a global professional services firm specializing in executive and director recruitment, as well as leadership, compensation and management consulting. Ferguson Partners is dedicated to serving the human capital and organizational consulting needs of the real estate, hospitality and leisure, infrastructure, engineering and construction, and healthcare services sectors. In addition to its Chicago headquarters, the firm has U.S. offices in New York, San Francisco and Charlotte, NC, and international offices in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Toronto and Singapore. Its recruitment practice conducts more than 200 searches globally each year for C-Suite executives, other senior business leaders, and board of director positions. Ferguson Partners also offers a full range of leadership services through our leadership consulting practice including CEO and senior executive succession planning, leadership assessment, coaching and team effectiveness.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media