Lennar Corp., Miami (NYSE:LEN) on Wednesday said it hired Jay Mantz, who headed the real estate investment unit at Morgan Stanley, to join the company's Rialto Capital Land Management unit as president.

Lennar also said Bill Landis, who joined Rialto in 2008 as its chief investment officer, would become COO. Both men will report to Rialto CEO Jeff Krasnoff.

Mantz spent 18 years with Morgan Stanley and ran the real estate business from 2000 to 2005 before becoming global co-head of Morgan Stanley Merchant Banking, which included Real Estate, Private Equity and Infrastructure investing activities.

Said Krasnoff, "We have worked and invested side-by-side with Jay during his almost two-decade tenure at Morgan Stanley and have had the opportunity to recognize first hand what a great leader and business builder Jay is."

Stuart Miller, Lennar CEO, said the addition of Mantz was an indicator of where the company wants to take its distressed asset land unit. "The addition of Jay and his unique capabilities furthers Lennar's strategy of growing our existing Rialto franchise, and in particular expanding our access to capital and new investment opportunities to create value for our partners and shareholders," he said.