Alexander D. Goldfarb has joined investment-banking firm Sandler O'Neill + Partners LP as an associate director to launch coverage of real estate investment trusts.

"The REIT space, we felt, is intricately tied to the other segments of the financial-services space," said Mark Fitzgibbon, principal and director of research. "In order to be a one-stop shop within the financial-services space, we needed to be able to offer expertise" in the world of REITs, which distribute the bulk of their income to investors.

The New York-based firm, which does equity research on about 215 financial-services companies, would not say which tickers Goldfarb would study or his launch date. He will eventually cover the sector's main segments, which could include multifamily, office, retail and industrial, Fitzgibbon added.

Goldfarb, who has an MBA from Babson College, most recently worked at UBS, where he was a director and senior REIT analyst covering companies including Equity Residential (EQR), American Campus Communities Inc. (ACC) and Post Properties Inc. (PPS). He was also a REIT analyst at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ).

-By Dawn Wotapka, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5248;

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