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DENVER-UDR Inc., the locally based apartment REIT said Friday that Michael Ernst has resigned as executive vice president and chief financial officer of UDR Inc. and has been replaced by David Messenger, the company’s chief accounting officer and senior vice president since joining the company in 2002.

Prior to joining the company, Messenger was president of TRC Management Company in Chicago from 2000 to 2002, and served as controller of HMS Resource, Inc. from 1998 to 2000. Messenger, 37, will receive an annual base salary of $230,000 and will be granted $300,000 worth of restricted stock.

Dallas-based Ernst, 47, cited travel demands associated with the company’s decision to relocate its headquarters to Dallas as the reason for his resignation.

UDR, which owns approximately 43,559 apartment units, also announced Friday Messenger’s replacement, Thomas Simon, 47, who was hired by the company in 2006 as vice president and treasurer. Prior to UDR, Simon served as senior vice president and treasurer for Prentiss Properties Trust, where he worked for 21 years.

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