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Good morning. I’m Ross Smotrich, I’m the REIT analyst here at Barclays, and I want to thank you all very much for joining us this morning. We appreciate your interest.
It’s my pleasure to introduce Michael Berman, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of General Growth Properties. As Michael will walk you through the story, you’ll come to realize that GGP owns interests in 149 malls, regional malls across 41 states and Brazil, making the company the second-largest mall company out there. Michael joined GGP in December of 2011 after serving as CFO of Equity LifeStyles. He brings 25 years—more than 25 years of combined real estate and finance experience to the table, and I’m proud to say I was there near the inception.
So Michael, we very much appreciate your coming this morning and I’ll turn it over to you to tell the story. Thank you.
Thank you, Ross. What Ross left out was we shared a cubicle many years ago at Chemical Bank, where he taught me everything I know about real estate, so I’m very indebted to him.
Today I’d like to talk about my favorite company, General Growth Properties. A little bit on my background – as Ross mentioned, I’ve been in the real estate business for what feels like a rather long time, and prior to that I had—I’ve had experiences both as a chief financial officer, a money manager, and had a long career at Merrill Lynch real estate investment banking.