Stamford, CT-based Land & Buildings Investment Management issued a public letter Monday describing Ventas’ recent financial performance as “lackluster” and calling for “substantial change.”

“Land & Buildings has heard from many frustrated shareholders in recent months. This outpouring of concern has only accelerated in the past several weeks,” read the letter, which was signed by Land & Buildings’ founder and Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Litt. “We believe patience has finally run out and that substantial change is clearly and urgently required to right the ship at Ventas.”

The activist shareholder owns approximately $50 million in the Chicago-based real estate investment trust, amounting to a stake of less than 1%, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In the letter to fellow shareholders, Litt said that the REIT had experienced “long-term underperformance and undervaluation.”

In response to the letter, a spokesperson for Ventas told the McKnight’s Business Daily that “Ventas’ board and leadership team remain focused on extending the company’s long track record of outperformance and strong total shareholder returns.”

In 2022, the spokesperson said, Ventas was among the top five REITs in the S&P 500, and its total shareholder return performance has “tracked closely” with that of the Nareit Health Care REIT Index across the one-, three- and five-year periods ending Sept. 7.

“Our fundamental performance continues to be strong as we focus on capturing the significant and growing demographically driven demand across our diversified portfolio to deliver long-term shareholder value,” the spokesperson added.

In an earnings call in August, Ventas Chairman and CEO Debra Cafaro said that the REIT’s seniors housing operating portfolio was returning to pre-pandemic margins and occupancy levels.

Land & Buildings, Litt said Monday, is open to continuing its discussions with Ventas over what it considers to be the company’s shortcomings.

“However, the status quo cannot continue,” he wrote. “While Land & Buildings hopes to reach a constructive resolution with Ventas, it will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to maximize value at the company for its long-suffering shareholders.”

Among the senior living operators in Ventas’ portfolio are Atria Senior Living, Discovery Senior Living, Priority Life Care, Sodalis Senior Living and Sunrise Senior Living. Outside of its seniors housing operating portfolio, Brookdale Senior Living is one of the REIT’s largest tenants.

This isn’t the first time Litt has challenged the REIT’s management and board of directors. In an April letter to shareholders, Litt announced his intention to vote against the election of lead independent Director James Shelton and Board Chair Cafaro, the two longest-serving directors, at the REIT’s annual shareholders meeting May 16. 

Also, in March 2022, Land & Buildings accused Ventas of “long-term underperformance” and announced Litt’s own nominations to the board of directors, but that nomination was withdrawn a month later.

Land & Buildings also has challenged Brookdale Senior Living’s decisions in the past.