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Ronald Ratner, Forest City’s development chief, is leaving the company

September 4, 2018

Ronald Ratner, Forest City’s development chief, is leaving the company

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Another longtime executive and member of the founding family is leaving Forest City Realty Trust, Inc., as the Cleveland-based real estate company readies to be sold to a global asset manager.

Ronald Ratner, Forest City’s chief development officer and executive vice president, will depart Sept. 15, according to a regulatory filing. The document, filed Tuesday, said that “Mr. Ratner’s departure was not due to any disagreement with the company or concerns relating to the operations, policies or practices of the company.”

Ratner, 71, has worked at Forest City for more than four decades and was a director there until a board shake-up earlier this year. A Northeast Ohio resident, he’s one of the sons of Max Ratner, a company founder.

He’s occupied board seats at nonprofit, industry and philanthropic organizations including the Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners and the National Multifamily Housing Council.

After almost a century in control, the Ratners have been stepping back at Forest City amid dramatic changes at the company and in the broader commercial real estate business. In recent years, Forest City has altered its corporate structure, eliminated a long-running two-tiered stock structure that favored the founding family and sold off many properties, including its buildings and land in downtown Cleveland.

In late July, Forest City agreed to be purchased by Brookfield Asset Management, Inc., a major commercial real estate owner based in Toronto. The deal is scheduled to close late this year, after a shareholder vote. Public filings don’t offer many clues about what the sale means for Forest City’s hundreds of Northeast Ohio employees or the company’s corporate headquarters, located in Key Tower downtown.

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