Blackwells Campaign Successfully Forces Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc.’s Chairman Monty J. Bennett and Director Kamal Jafarnia to Resign

Remaining Directors Narrowly Elected by Pitifully Low Percentages

Stockholders Deliver Clear Mandate for Change

NEW YORK, May 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blackwells Capital, an owner of 1,000 shares of Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (“Ashford” or the “Company”) (NYSE: AHT), announced today that directors Monty J. Bennett and Kamal Jafarnia failed to receive the requisite number of votes required for re-election to the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) at the Company’s 2024 annual meeting of stockholders (the “2024 Annual Meeting”) and were forced to tender their resignations. The Company’s remaining nominees were narrowly re-elected by disturbingly low numbers.

Blackwells achieved this result despite the Company’s refusal to produce a stockholder list, and with just one mailing to stockholders. In an attempt to ward off Blackwells’ campaign, the Company spun up a familiar playbook employed by Chairman Monty Bennett, which included an aggressive and misleading PR campaign, and the manipulation of Ashford’s corporate machinery to entrench the Board, going as far as changing the meeting quorum requirement in an effort to ensure re-election of the failing incumbent Board members.

Jason Aintabi, Chief Investment Officer of Blackwells Capital LLC, said:

“The voting results are a conclusive indictment of the Board’s failure to act in the best interests of stockholders. With a resounding majority voting ‘AGAINST’ the election of Monty Bennett and Kamal Jafarnia, and the remaining nominees receiving near majority ‘AGAINST’ votes, stockholders have sent an unequivocal message that they demand directors who will act as independent fiduciaries for stockholders and stand up to Monty Bennett’s tyrannical ‘leadership’ and self-interested personal agenda.

The Board’s reappointment of Monty Bennett and Kamal Jafarnia to the Board within hours of being voted out is a shameless maneuver and demonstrates the utter contempt Monty Bennett’s Board has for the Company’s stockholders.

Blackwells will hold Ashford and each of its directors accountable for the massive harm they have caused to shareholders.”

Further information regarding Blackwells “vote no” campaign is available at

About Blackwells Capital

Blackwells Capital was founded in 2016 by Jason Aintabi, its Chief Investment Officer. Since that time, it has made investments in public securities, engaging with management and boards, both publicly and privately, to help unlock value for stakeholders, including stockholders, employees and communities. Throughout their careers, Blackwells’ principals have invested globally on behalf of leading public and private equity firms and have held operating roles and served on the boards of media, energy, technology, insurance and real estate enterprises. For more information, please visit


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