Top Simon exec exiting company

April 10, 2017

A top executive at Simon Property Group Inc. is leaving the company effective May 5.

The Indianapolis-based mall owner and developer said on Thursday that David Contis is resigning to “spend more time with his family.” Simon did not issue a press release announcing his departure but instead divulged it through a public filing.  

contis-1-092815epub-15col.jpg Contis said he was lured away from his previous employer in 2011 to lead Simon's mall business. (IBJ Photo/Eric Learned)

Contis, 58, has been president of Simon’s mall business since 2011. Last year he earned a total of nearly $4.2 million, including a $900,000 bonus and $2.5 million in stock awards, according to a company filing.

The only Simon executives to earn more than Contis in 2016 were CEO David Simon ($13.2 million) and Chief Operating Officer Richard Sokolov ($5.1 million).

Contis could not be reached for comment, and Simon declined to respond beyond what the company said in the public filing.

Contis joined Simon in 2011, arriving from Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments in Chicago. There, he reported directly to Zell, providing counsel on his domestic and international real estate investments.

Contis told IBJ in 2015 that David Simon hired him away from Zell to lead Simon’s mall business, telling Contis “we have a lot of renovations and expansions, and you’re the best at it.”

Simon owns interests in 206 retail properties, including 108 malls. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company earned a profit of $394.4 million, or $1.26 per share, roughly equal to the $392.3 million, or $1.27 per share, earned in the same quarter of 2015.

The company’s mall and shopping outlet portfolio saw a rise in occupancy from 96.1 percent at year-end 2015 to 96.8 percent at the end of 2016.

Simon share’s opened trading Monday morning priced at $169.74 each, down from a 52-week high of $229.10 in early August.



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