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Self-Storage REIT Life Storage Names Chief Information Officer, Adds to Board of Directors

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Self-storage real estate investment trust Life Storage Inc. has named Joseph V. Saffire as its new chief information officer (CIO) and appointed Carol Hansell to the company's board of directors.

Saffire, a 25-year commercial banking veteran, will be a member of the senior management team and integral in executing the company’s operational, investment, acquisition and capital markets strategy, according to a press release. He succeeds Paul T. Powell, who’s retiring but will continue as an adviser to the company next year, as well as be involved with joint-venture formation and acquisitions.

“We are pleased to add an accomplished executive of Joe’s caliber to Life Storage. Joe brings extensive senior leadership experience and expertise successfully developing and implementing complex strategic plans,” said CEO David Rogers. “As we enter the next phase of growth following our transformation to the Life Storage brand, Joe is an ideal addition to our team. He will play an instrumental role in supporting our efforts to improve operational efficiencies and profitability while ensuring that Life Storage is well-positioned to continue strategically growing its high-quality portfolio and platform.”

“I also thank Paul for his invaluable contributions to our company these past 20 years, and am pleased that he will remain with us through the transition period, helping us continue to grow our portfolio,” Rogers added.

Prior to joining Life Storage, Saffire served as executive vice president and head of commercial banking at First Niagara Financial Group Inc. In this role, he oversaw nearly $20 billion in assets, and was responsible for developing and implementing a five-year commercial strategic plan. He also led several lines of business including commercial lending, capital markets, equipment leasing and commercial real estate. Previously, Saffire worked at Wells Fargo & Co. in London, where he served as executive vice president and head of global banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, overseeing commercial lending and transaction services. He spent the majority of his career as an international manager with banking firm HSBC Holdings PLC, where he held a variety of leadership positions across Asia, Europe and North America. In his final role with HSBC, he acted as chief operating officer and head of international corporate and commercial banking, overseeing the firm’s business and growth initiatives in Germany.

“I am excited to join Life Storage at such a pivotal time in the company’s history,” Saffire said. “Life Storage’s portfolio of facilities in attractive, diversified markets is uniquely valuable and well-positioned in the self-storage industry. With its strong balance sheet, Life Storage is poised to capitalize on key growth drivers and create value for its shareholders. I look forward to being a member of the management team to build on its progress.”

The addition of Hansell to the company’s board of directors follows an extensive search process to further enhance the perspective and expertise available to the company, the release stated. Hansell will serve on the governance committee.

“Carol brings significant experience advising both public and private companies on complex corporate governance and legal matters, and we are pleased to welcome her to the board of directors,” said Stephen R. Rusmisel, lead independent director. “Following a thorough board process that included significant engagement with Life Storage shareholders, we are confident that Carol’s deep involvement in corporate governance policy and unique skillset make her a highly complementary addition.”

Hansell has more than 25 years of governance, government relations, legal and communications experience. She’s the founder and senior partner of Hansell LLP, and a principal with Hansell McLaughlin Advisory Inc., which delivers integrated legal, governance, government relations and communications advice.

Hansell has served on boards of organizations across a variety of sectors including public companies, crown corporations, financial institutions, healthcare, not-for-profit and arts organizations. She currently serves on the boards of Munich Reinsurance Co. of Canada, the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) and the American College of Governance Counsel. She’s the chair of the Business Law Advisory Council and serves on the ICGN nominating committee. She has served on the boards of the Bank of Canada, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Toronto East General Hospital and SickKids Foundation. She’s a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors and the American College of Governance Counsel. “I am honored to join Life Storage’s board of directors,” she said. “Effective corporate decision-making requires the ability to hear and consider different points of view, which results from people of different backgrounds and perspectives coming together. Life Storage has a strong portfolio of properties, and I look forward to working alongside the board and management team to continue to build upon the company’s position in the self-storage industry.”

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Sovran operates approximately 700 self-storage facilities in 29 states, under the Life Storage and Uncle Bob's Self Storage brand names. Its portfolio of owned and managed facilities comprises about 49 million square feet.

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