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New York REIT names chief executive and executive chairman

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Staff writer | New York, N.Y., USA | December 31, 2014
Michael HappelDecember 31, 2014, New York, N.Y., USA - New York REIT, Inc., a real estate investment trust, announced that it has appointed Michael Happel, the company's president, to the role of chief executive officer.
Mr. Happel serves as the President of New York REIT, and previously served as Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and observer to the board of directors for its non-listed predecessor, New York Recovery REIT, Inc. Mr. Happel has over 25 years of experience investing in real estate, including office retail, multifamily, industrial, and hotel properties, as well as real estate companies.

From 1988 to 2002, he worked at Morgan Stanley & Co., specializing in real estate and becoming co-head of acquisitions for the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds, or MSREF, in 1994. In 2002, Mr. Happel left Morgan Stanley & Co. to join Westbrook Partners, a large real estate private equity firm.

From October 2004 to May 2009, he served at Atticus Capital, a hedge fund, as the head of real estate with responsibility for investing primarily in REITs and other publicly traded real estate securities.

Mr. Happel received a B.A. in economics from Duke University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He succeeds Nicholas S. Schorsch, who has notified the Board of his decision to step down from his position as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of NYRT.

The Company also announced that William M. Kahane has been elected as Executive Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Kahane served as Chief Executive Officer and President of American Realty Capital Trust, a publicly traded net lease REIT he co-founded in 2007 and listed on the NASDAQ in March 2012. In January 2013, ARCT completed its merger with Realty Income.

Prior to ARCT listing its shares, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of ARCT, focusing on the construction, capitalization and management of the Company's real estate portfolio.

Mr. Kahane has held COO and board positions for a number of the publicly registered, non-traded investments currently sponsored by AR Capital, where he is a managing member. He has been active in the structuring and financial management of commercial real estate investments for over 35 years. He began his career in 1974 as a real estate lawyer, practicing in both the public and private sectors.

From 1981 to 1992, Mr. Kahane was in the investment banking department of Morgan Stanley, specializing in real estate; he became a managing director in 1989.

From 1997 until 2005, Mr. Kahane was on the Board of Directors of Catellus Development Corp, serving as non-executive chairman from 1999 to 2001. From 2003 to 2006, he was a trustee at American Financial Realty Trust ("AFRT"), during which time he served as Chairman of the Finance Committee of AFRT's Board of Trustees.

Mr. Kahane also serves as a member of the investment committee at Aetos Capital Asia Advisors, a $3 billion series of opportunistic funds targeting assets primarily in Japan and China; he has done so since 2008.

Mr. Kahane received a B.A. from Occidental College, a J.D. from the University of California Los Angeles Law School, and an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he was a Mason Smith Fellow and received a Japan Foundation Grant. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Emanu-El in New York City.