Professor to Head American Health Trust

American Health Properties, the Beverly Hills-based real estate investment trust that was formed a year ago, has named Walter J. McNerney, 62, as its new chairman, effective Feb. 15.

He succeeds Rocco C. Siciliano as chairman. Siciliano also was chief executive, and his successor in that position has not been named.

Siciliano is the former chairman and chief executive of Ticor, the Los Angeles-based financial services company. He had planned to help launch American Health Properties and then move on to pursue other interests.

"This company is in good shape, it doesn't need me," Siciliano said in a telephone interview. "I'm going to be 66 very shortly. I was very happy to help get it started, but I have a lot of things to do."

He was recently named a member of the National Commission on the Public Service, which is chaired by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker. Siciliano also said he will be occupied in his duties as co-chairman of the California Commission on Campaign Financing.

McNerney is currently a professor at the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He was formerly president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield associations.

Robert L. B. Diener, 39, continues as president and chief operating officer. He will assume the day-to-day duties of chief executive but has not been given the title, the company said.

American Health Properties was created to purchase the hospital properties of American Medical International, a Beverly Hills-based health-care services firm that has leased back the facilities.

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