Jonathan Litt hedshot
Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC Founder & CIO Jonathan Litt (Photo courtesy of Land & Buildings)

After accusing Chicago-based real estate investment trust Ventas of “long-term underperformance” and promoting its own candidate for presiding director ahead of the REIT’s virtual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Land & Buildings Investment Management on Monday withdrew its proxy candidate, Jonathan Litt, from consideration.

“Land & Buildings plans to remain a significant shareholder of Ventas and we are rooting for this Board and management team to take the appropriate actions to improve the company’s performance. However, we will not hesitate to take future action if we deem it necessary to ensure that Ventas delivers for shareholders,” the investment management firm said.

Litt is Stamford, CT-based Land & Buildings’ founder and chief investment officer. The firm previously withdrew its other proxy contest nominee, Michelle Applebaum.

In early March, Litt said in an open letter that Ventas needed a shareholder representative “who is fully aligned with shareholders and who will bring the objectivity and appropriate experience required to instill accountability and demand improved performance.”

Thursday, Land & Buildings filed a definitive proxy statement and accompanying blue proxy card with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for the Ventas stockholders meeting.

On Monday, however, the firm stated that it was withdrawing Litt’s name for consideration for director due to lack of support from other shareholders. Namely, independent proxy firm Institutional Shareholder Services urged Ventas stockholders to vote for all of the REIT’s 11 incumbent directors. ​​And independent proxy firm Glass Lewis joined ISS in recommending that shareholders reject Land & Buildings’ proxy campaign, which would have forced the removal of Ventas Presiding Director Denny Shelton from the company’s board.

“We believe that ISS reached the wrong conclusion by failing to recommend shareholders vote for change in the Ventas boardroom,” Land & Buildings said in a statement last week.

Monday, in response to Land & Buildings’ withdrawal of Litt’s nomination, Ventas said, “We look forward to getting back to business and are eager, energized and focused on continuing to capitalize on the senior housing recovery now underway to drive sustained growth and value creation.”