Tables Turn in Zell-Portnoy Battle for REIT Supremacy

In 2014, the Portnoy real estate empire faced a stunning defeat when an activist investor and property mogul Sam Zell took over the board of CommonWealth REIT.

That year Keith Meister’s activist fund Corvex Management LP and investor Related Fund Management LLC replaced Commonwealth REIT’s directors, ousting Adam Portnoy and his father, Barry, from the board and installing Zell as chairman. As part of the overhaul, the new board removed an external management firm run by the Portnoy family.