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Overhaul ahead for Zell's Equity Commonwealth

Disparate holdings to come under scrutiny after investor-led revolt

[CHICAGO] Since taking over Equity Commonwealth in an investor-led revolt almost three months ago, Sam Zell and his team have found buyers for more than US$200 million of properties, sold shares in a former unit and moved the company's headquarters. Now they face a bigger challenge.

Mr Zell and one of his longtime deputies, David Helfand, must remake the Chicago-based office landlord after an ouster of top executives based on claims of mismanagement and a misdirected strategy. They're in charge of a disparate group of more than 100 properties in US suburbs and markets where rent growth is slower than in big cities such as New York and San Francisco.

"There will be significant - I hesitate to use...

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