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Emory stepping down as Allied CEO, Williams to take top job

Allied Properties REIT CEO and president Michael Emory, left, will step down and be succeeded by Cecilia Williams. (Courtesy Allied Properties)
Allied Properties REIT CEO and president Michael Emory, left, will step down and be succeeded by Cecilia Williams. (Courtesy Allied Properties)

Allied Properties REIT has announced a series of sweeping changes and internal promotions among its senior management, including a new board chair, CEO, and lead trustee.

Allied founder Michael Emory will step down as president and CEO to become executive chair of the board, with Cecilia Williams being promoted from executive vice-president and chief financial officer to replace him in those two positions. 

Williams will also become a member of the board.

Tom Burns is stepping down as executive vice-president and COO to also move onto the board, and to contribute to Allied as a part-time consultant. Current senior vice-president Nanthini Mahalingam will be promoted to senior vice-president and chief financial officer.

Mahalingam has been senior vice-president, finance and accounting, for the past two years.

Two senior board members who have held been trustees since the REIT’s formation are also stepping down. Board chair Gordon Cunningham and audit committee chair Gerald Connor will both retire at the end of their terms this spring. 

Williams' growing role with Allied

“The board established the parameters of this plan in 2019 and has worked steadily toward implementation since that time,” said Cunningham in the announcement. “With the remaining key elements of the plan about to be implemented on schedule, we’re highly confident in the evolution and development of the Allied team and in the team’s ability to manage Allied’s business into the future.”

The changes are to be put into effect at Allied’s annual general meeting on May 2.

Tuesday’s announcement by the Toronto-based trust emphasized that Williams has been taking on “progressively greater responsibility for the formation and execution,” of its strategy during the past five years. She was named to her current role in 2015. 

She began her career at Arthur Andersen, where she obtained her Chartered Accountant designation in 2001 while working in the assurance and valuation practices. She continued her career development through progressively more senior financial and planning positions at Magna International, Canwest Broadcasting/Shaw Media and Dream Unlimited.

She is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

Emory had entered the real estate business in 1988, after specializing in corporate and real estate finance and being named a partner at the law firm of Aird & Berlis LLP. 

He also serves as a director of EQB Inc. and Equitable Bank.

Cunningham was previously vice-chairman of Cumberland Private Wealth Management and president/CEO of London Insurance Group and London Life Insurance Company. Prior to that, he was a partner at Torys LLP.

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