Ventas Appoints Two to Board in New Agreement With Activist Shareholder

Ventas (NYSE: VTR) has appointed two people to the company’s board of directors in connection with a new cooperation agreement with activist investor Land & Buildings.

On Monday, the Chicago-based real estate investment trust (REIT) named Theodore Bigman and Joe V. Rodriguez, Jr. as new directors on its board. Bigman is slated to sit on the board’s investment committee and Rodriguez is joining the board’s nominating, governance and corporate responsibility committee.

The company also on Monday announced that Denny Shelton, lead independent director for Ventas’ board of directors, is retiring.


Bigman has worked as a private investor and is the founder and CEO of Bigman Holdings, a company he has led since 2021. Before that, he held a variety of roles at asset management company MSIM, which he joined in 1995.

Rodriguez is a “seasoned real estate investor” with 30 years of experience, according to Ventas. He was a founding partner and chief investment officer at Invesco Real Estate, and has served as a board advisor to Invesco Office J-REIT and AIM Select Real Estate Income Fund.

The new agreement seems to put to rest past issues that Land & Buildings has had with Ventas. The two companies have sparred over the past several years, most recently in 2023, with the activist investor having nominated its founder, Jonathan Litt, to the REIT’s board in the past.


Litt and Land & Buildings also previously criticized the decisions of Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) before relenting in 2019.

Land & Buildings “will vote its shares in favor of the Board’s director nominees” in an upcoming annual meeting of stockholders, in addition to agreeing to a customary “standstill, voting and other provisions,” a press release about the move noted.

Following the appointments of Bigman and Rodriguez, the Ventas board has been temporarily expanded to 13 members, of which a dozen are independent, the company said.

“I am pleased to welcome Ted and Joe to the Board and look forward to working with them to drive value for shareholders. I have great respect for their professional accomplishments and REIT investment experience and am delighted we are adding directors of their caliber to the Board,” Ventas Chairman and CEO Debra Cafaro said in a statement.

In the coming year, Ventas announced it has “line of sight” on more than $300 million in senior housing deals, highlighting that momentum had ramped up at the end of 2023 and the momentum was expected to continue with eager sellers.

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