Commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield’s new president and CEO resigned Friday from his position on the General Growth Properties (GGP) board of directors. Glenn Rufrano stepped down from the GGP board to avoid a conflict of interest because Cushman & Wakefield is providing appraisal services to GGP as part of its ongoing bankruptcy restructuring.  Today is Rufrano’s first day at the new position. “We can’t thank Glenn enough for the expertise, experience and tremendous insight he has brought to our board of directors as we continue our efforts to emerge GGP expeditiously from Chapter 11 in a manner that provides a good result for all our stakeholders,” said GGP CEO Adam Metz in a statement Friday. Rufrano joined the GGP board in 2009. In 1983, Rufrano co-founded the O’Connor Group, now called O’Connor Capital Partners, where he worked until 2000. Since 2007, he was CEO of the Australian-based Centro Properties Group. From 2000 to 2007, he was CEO of New Plan Realty Trust. Rufrano replaces outgoing Cushman & Wakefield president and CEO Bruce Mosler, who became co-chairman of the board on January 1, 2010. In early March, Pershing Square Capital Management CEO William Ackman also stepped down from the GGP board. The activist investor became a director nearly a year ago, shortly before the shopping mall real estate investment trust (REIT) filed for bankruptcy. Ackman stepped down to avoid a conflict after Pershing Square and Fairholme Capital Management offered to inject nearly $4bn into GGP to help it emerge from bankruptcy and avoid a takeover by rival REIT Simon Property Group (SPG). Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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