Ivanhoe Cambridge continues expansion in Canada and world markets

Ivanhoé Cambridge is continuing its expansion into world markets, while increasing its presence and focus at home with a management shakeup and a new initiative that will result in $300 million in new investments in Quebec.
The latest announcement from the real estate arm of one of the world's major pension funds – Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec – was in some ways similar to the strategy that has made them a dominant force in any market they choose.
Quietly and without fanfare as the financial world was winding down for the Easter Weekend, Ivanhoé issued a press release announcing a management restructuring and an additional investment of $300 million in Quebec to bolster its operations.
The release also gave significant details about areas where the company plans to focus its growth. The restructuring saw significant changes in senior management levels as two new Chief Operating Officers now divide responsibility for Canada and report to Daniel Fournier, the Chairman and CEO.
New roles for Sirois and Drohomirecki
Claude Sirois (pictured above left), is promoted to Co-Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Quebec while Roman Drohomirecki (pictured above right), Executive Vice President, Operations, Central and Western North America, is promoted to Co-Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Central and Western Regions.
“With $35 billion in assets around the world now, and in light of the growing scope of our operations in Canada, we are revisiting our approach to this country,” Fournier said. “The appointments of Claude and Roman to these strategic positions confirm our strong preference for internal talent.”
Sirois will be responsible for all activities in Quebec and will oversee future construction and development projects in Quebec, where the company has invested about $8 billion within the last five years. He will also continue to chair the Board of Directors of the joint venture Ancar Ivanhoé in Brazil, which manages more than twenty shopping centres. He will work with Drohomirecki, who is responsible for all operational activities in Canada outside of Quebec.
Sébastien Théberge, Senior Director, Public Affairs and Communications for Ivanhoé Cambridge said there will be more announcements in coming weeks as a result of the changes. The team focusing on Quebec is ramping up its operations under SVP Jean Laramée, who shifts his focus from responsibility for the eastern North American portfolio to become Senior Vice President, Quebec Real Estate Capital.
“Yes, expect more news from us over the next few weeks!,” Théberge told Property Biz Canada in a weekend series of email exchanges.
Boosting Quebec's economic development
“The new Quebec Real Estate Capital program ($300M) is a budget allocation/reserve for Mr Laramée to invest in selected projects that we will have prospected,” Théberge explained, adding the company is looking for investment decisions that “contribute to the economic development of Quebec.”
“Mr Laramée will first look at establishing the parameters for this new internal structure, for the targeted projects or organizations and they will likely be announced as they are confirmed,” Théberge explained.
“The allocation is not set in time or in the number of projects. They will bring a complement to our asset classes in Quebec and will obviously not compete with our current portfolio.”
Théberge was asked by Property Biz Canada to explain the company's strategy.
“We will continue to build critical mass in the geographies. It also means focusing on investment into strategic assets,” he said on Sunday.
“When you look at our European portfolio, we are in the process of repositioning our assets; some have reached maturity, others have become non-strategic. It's the case for hotels for example. Overall, we will be looking at increasing our presence in Paris and London, which are liquid.”
Looking to emerging markets
The company also has a significant presence in South America and the United States.
“In Brazil, our co-enterprise, Ancar Ivanhoé, is a business model that enjoys remarkable success: a dedicated team of partners and employees,” he said. “In the U.S., we want to register significant growth this year. We will continue to build critical mass in some key cities.”
Ivanhoé Cambridge also announced changes for other management team members who will be responsible for those areas.
• European Platform: Meka Brunel, Executive Vice President, Europe, is responsible for investments and for asset management in Europe, where she will be in charge of about 20% of Ivanhoé Cambridge's total assets.
• U.S. Platform: Adam Adamakakis, Executive Vice President, Investments, will now focus on investment management and asset management in the U.S., in collaboration with Callahan Capital Partners. This is a market where Ivanhoé Cambridge wants to post strong growth.
• Emerging Markets Platform: Louis Voizard, Vice President, Asset Management, Emerging Markets, is promoted to Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets. He will now be responsible for Brazil, China and Russia, which represent together about 6% of the Company's assets.
Building its profile
Recent announcements from Ivanhoé Cambridge, including its world-class office tower project in Chicago, a trophy property in London's financial district, a multi-million real estate purchase in Silicon Valley and other multi-million dollar deals are also being increasingly noticed by mainstream media, garnering coverage on front pages and leading TV newscasts.
As of the end of 2012, the company and its subsidiaries had $35 billion in assets in 20 countries.
That value could end up increasing again following an announcement earlier in March of a formalized alliance
between Ivanhoé Cambridge and Blackstone Real Estate that could eventually give them a significant stake in French REIT/SIIC Gecina.
A non-traditional equity investment for Ivanhoé Cambridge, they formed a limited partnership with Blackstone and will jointly administer a 64.7% interest in the €1.6bn of loans in Spanish debt secured on stock controlled by two senior Gecina shareholders.
As the company's spokesman says, Ivanhoe Cambridge is looking for opportunities across all of their platforms of expertise.
“You will hear us use the word platform quite often because it is the model that we have built in Canada and we will continue to build our portfolio across the three segments: multi-residential, office and shopping centres.,” said Théberge.
“We’re looking for dynamic companies that have high growth potential.”

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