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RADNOR, PA-The nearly six-month search by Brandywine Realty Trust for a new CFO has ended with the appointment of Howard Sipzner to the post. Sipzner joined North Miami Beach-based Equity One Inc. in 1999 and served as its senior vice president and CFO since 2004. Now he takes the same set of titles at Brandywine.

This October Sipzner notified Equity One that he would leave when his agreement expired on Jan. 1. The Florida shopping center REIT has undergone a significant shuffling of management, including Chaim Katzman’s resignation at CEO. Sipzner tells GlobeSt.com the changes were a factor in his resignation. “Once you bring in a new CEO, he’ll understandably want a new team. It’s been a remarkably friendly transition.”

He says he had not been in contact with Brandywine at that time, but heard of its search and “threw my name in the hat. I’d planned to take a few months off, but there are very few opportunities like this.” After meetings with Jerry Sweeney, Brandywine’s president and CEO, he says, “I got a very good feel for the organization as well as the quality of its management and properties.”

At Equity One, Sipzner saw the company grow from $200 million to more than $3 billion in assets. During his tenure, the REIT raised more than $1.4 billion of new capital, a growth path that he says “kind of parallels Brandywine’s.” Prior to joining Equity One, he worked with Chase Manhattan Bank and its predecessor companies and served as vice president with Chase Securities from 1996 to 1999.

Sipzner replaces Christopher Marr, who left Brandywine in June to become CFO of Cleveland, OH-based U-Store-It Trust. He had previously worked with the self-storage REIT’s president and CEO, Dean Jernigan, at Memphis-based Storage USA. Months later, Tim Martin, Brandywine’s vice president of finance, followed Marr to U-Store-It.

Of the Sipzner appointment, Sweeney says in a statement, “He is an extraordinarily effective financial executive with significant experience in all facets of the real estate business. His broad-based skill sets in finance, accounting, investor relations and the capital markets will immediately add value to our management team and enhance our business plan execution.”

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