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Annaly CEO Wellington Denahan stepping down

Mortgage REIT chooses company president Kevin Keyes as new CEO

The co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the nation’s largest mortgage real estate investment trust, Annaly Capital Management (NLY), is stepping down as CEO.

Wellington Denahan, who helped to found Annaly in 1994, is stepping down as CEO, the REIT announced Monday.

Denahan will remain as chairman of the board of directors and will also serve as executive chairman of the company, and will shift her focus to strategic and capital allocation decisions.

Kevin Keyes, who previously served as Annaly’s president, will be elevated to CEO.

Keyes will retain the president title as well.

“I’m very proud to have co-founded a company that has grown to become the largest mortgage REIT in the world while delivering competitive returns through a wide range of market conditions,” Denahan said.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Kevin and the team as we navigate the opportunities ahead,” Denahan added.

According to Keyes’ bio on Annaly’s website, he has more than 20 years of capital markets and investment banking experience.

Prior to joining Annaly in 2009,Keyes served in various senior management and business origination roles at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC).

“Kevin began working with Annaly more than a decade ago and we were very fortunate to have him join the company a few years later,” Denahan said. “He has been hugely instrumental in helping shape the company for the future and has the leadership ability and broad experience to drive Annaly’s success in the years ahead.”

Jonathan Green, Annaly’s lead director, said that the company is pleased to add Keyes as the company’s CEO.

“Kevin is a proven leader who will enable us to take advantage of the company’s numerous growth opportunities in the evolving market landscape,” Green said. “We also look forward to Wellington’s continuing contributions to the board and the company as executive chairman.”

Keyes said that he is “energized” by the opportunity to lead Annaly.

“Nearly 20 years ago, Wellington and Mike Farrell had the vision and leadership to create this phenomenal company,” Keyes said.

“I’ve been very fortunate to both advise and work closely with each of them and have admired Wellington’s leadership during the challenging and rewarding times over the past few years,” Keyes added.

“I know the opportunity that lies ahead for Annaly is enormous and I am honored and energized to lead along with Wellington going forward,” Keyes continued. “We have further developed and expanded the Annaly investment teams over the past few years and are now more prepared than ever to capitalize on our targeted options for growth in the industry today.”

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