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Thomas Sittema Resigns as CEO of CNL Financial Group

December 8, 2017

Thomas Sittema Resigns as CEO of CNL Financial Group

December 8, 2017 | James Sprow | Blue Vault

CEO - Bunch of Keys with Text on Golden Keychain.

Thomas K. Sittema, the CEO of CNL Financial Group, is resigning after eight years with the financial company.

Also leaving the company is Chief Financial Officer Tracy G. Schmidt, who spent 24 years at CNL and was the enterprise CFO since 2004. The company said in a news release the two were “leaving to pursue business and personal interests.”

Sittema had been labeled by the company as the successor to founder and chairman James Seneff. Before CNL, he had been at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bank of America for 27 years. Sittema was appointed to the chief executive spot in 2011.

CNL said Stephen H. Mauldin and Chirag Bhavsar have been named as co-CEOs of the company. Mauldin will oversee all real estate investments, legal, and other corporate functions. Bhavsar will oversee all of CNL’s private capital investments, financial management, and other corporate services.

Mauldin and Bhavsar will have joint responsibility for CNL’s sales functions and both will report directly to Seneff.

The announcement said Seneff will continue to oversee the company’s long-term strategy and vision as Mauldin and Bhavsar manage the company’s day-to-day operations.

Mauldin joined CNL in 2011 as president and chief operating officer of CNL Lifestyle Properties and CNL Healthcare Properties. He is group president and executive leader for all CNL real estate focused funds. Bhavsar has spent the past 16 years working with CNL-affiliated companies and has a banking and financial services background. He has served as the chief financial officer for three different banks, including CNL Bank.

The leadership change will be effective at year-end, but Sittema and Schmidt said they will consult with CNL through the first quarter of 2018.

“I deeply appreciate the contributions made by Tom and Tracy to our company’s success, and I look forward to working closely with Steve and Chirag as we prepare for the next cycle of opportunity to benefit our investors,” Seneff said in an announcement.

Seneff launched the company in 1973 with a 50-year plan and a vision, which is drawing to an end now. The company was initially called CNL for “Commercial Net Lease.” Although Seneff’s plan focused mostly on real estate, it has included diverse areas of real estate — restaurants, medical offices, assisted living facilities and ski resorts, for example. The company says it and its affiliates have formed or acquired companies with more than $34 billion in assets.

Blue Vault reports on two active nontraded REIT programs sponsored by CNL, CNL Healthcare Properties, Inc., and CNL Healthcare Properties II, Inc. As of September 30, 2017, CNL Healthcare Properties’ investment portfolio consisted of interests in 143 properties, including 72 seniors housing communities, 54 MOBs, 12 post-acute care facilities and five acute care hospitals. CNL Healthcare Properties II was declared effective in July 2016, has raised approximately $23 million in its IPO as of September 30, and has acquired one property. CNL also sponsors a BDC, Corporate Capital Trust II, with total assets of $157 million as of September 30, 2017. The BDC broke escrow in 2016 and invests in senior corporate debt, subordinated debt and equity, comprising investments in 71 different companies.

 

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Learn more about CNL Financial Group on the Blue Vault Sponsor Focus page.

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