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Crescent CEO Gets Hefty Stock-Options Package

April 20, 1999| From Bloomberg News

FORT WORTH — Investor Richard Rainwater's Crescent Real Estate Equities Inc. gave Chief Executive Gerald Haddock a stock-option package it estimates could be worth $49.6 million, continuing a trend of big option packages being awarded to real estate executives.

The Fort Worth-based real estate investment trust paid Haddock a salary, bonus and other compensation of $776,378 for 1998, down from $938,925 in 1997, according to the company's preliminary annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Haddock, 51, received options on 1 million shares that could be worth $49.6 million after 10 years, assuming the stock price rises 10% annually. Haddock received no options in 1997.

After a year in which REIT stocks fell about 21%, more boards are giving REIT executives option-laden pay packages in lieu of big cash payments as an incentive to boost share prices. Last year, Crescent's shares fell 42% even though its earnings increased 33%.

"I'm encouraged by this trend," said Fred Carr, head of independent real estate securities research firm Penobscot Group in Boston. "It creates a good alignment of interest between REIT managers and shareholders."

Boston Properties Inc., one of the biggest office property owners in the United States, gave Chairman Mortimer Zuckerman and Chief Executive Edward Linde option packages potentially worth $55 million each in lieu of any salary or bonus.

Federal Realty Investment Trust Chief Executive Steven Guttman elected not to take his $529,000 salary or bonus in 1998, and instead took $984,000 in restricted stock.

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