CapLease Inc., a New York-based real estate investment trust, has announced the retirement of mortgage industry veteran Lewis Ranieri as its chairman, citing "family circumstances."Paul McDowell has been elected chairman and will continue as CapLease's chief executive officer, the REIT reported. Mr. Ranieri, widely viewed as the father of the mortgage-backed security, will continue as a senior adviser to the company. He had been chairman of the company and its predecessor entities since 1995.

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