No. of Recommendations: 5
From the Wall Street Journal:

CtW Investment Group is urging shareholders of Starwood Property Trust to oppose the re-election of a key board member as a broader push to force the real-estate investment trust to elect more independent directors.

CtW, which represents pension funds nationwide that collectively hold about 250,000 shares of Starwood Property Trust Inc. (STWD), is calling on shareholders to replace Executive Director Jeffrey Dishner with an independent director at the company's annual meeting May 2.

Starwood Property Trust, which became public in 2009, is focused on investing in commercial-mortgage loans and is controlled by Barry Sternlicht, chief executive of both the REIT and global real-estate company Starwood Capital Group.

"Removing Mr. Dishner is an important first step toward establishing strong oversight of [Starwood Property's] relationship with Starwood Capital as the REIT continues to grow and takes on increasingly risky investments," said Dieter Waizenegger, the Executive Director of the CtW in a statement Wednesday.

CtW noted that it recently sent a letter to major shareholders warning that the REIT has moved into riskier assets since its IPO and that the company's portfolio of mortgage-backed securities has gone from being 90% investment grade to less than 1% investment grade

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