Vornado’s top female exec Wendy Silverstein steps down

EVP was co-head of acquisitions and capital markets, made $5.4M in 2013
By Rich Bockmann | April 08, 2015 04:50PM

Wendy Silverstein, who as co-head of acquisitions and capital markets was the top female executive at Vornado Realty Trust, has left the multibillion-dollar real estate investment trust, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

In early March, after more than 15 years with Vornado, Silverstein signed a separation agreement with the firm that went into effect April 1.

A company spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment, but a Vornado employee who answered the phone yesterday confirmed that Silverstein was no longer at the firm. Silverstein’s corporate biography has been removed from the Vornado website. A Google snapshot of the page shows it was active as recently as April 3.

Silverstein, 54, could not be reached for comment. In a letter included in the SEC filings, Vornado Chairman and CEO Steven Roth wrote to Silverstein to “confirm our conversations concerning your decision to step down.”

“I want to thank you on Vornado’s behalf for all that you have done for the company and its shareholders for the past seventeen years,” Roth wrote.

Per the terms of the separation agreement, Silverstein would be paid her salary and a prorated bonus through the effective resignation date.  She would also be allowed to keep a company car the firm provided for her. Her total compensation for the 2013 fiscal year was $5.36 million, according to Reuters.

The letter also said it was expected Silverstein would serve on the board of directors of a Vornado affiliate.

Silverstein, a graduate of the Wharton School, met Roth while she was working with the real estate group at Citibank in the 1990s. She joined Vornado in 1998, and as co-head of acquisitions specialized in arranging the debt and equity for deals.

In one marquee deal she spearheaded in 2010, Vornado and four partners recapitalized LNR Property, the giant but struggling commercial loan servicer. Vornado invested about $116 million for a 26 percent stake in the company in, and realized a “substantial profit” when LNR was sold in 2013 as part of a $1.05 billion deal.

Silverstein’s exit is the most high-profile departure from Vornado since former CEO Michael Fascitelli left the REIT in April 2013  Fascitelli, as The Real Deal reported, is now back in business with his real estate investment firm Imperial Companies.