People Space: Cominar exec shuffle, moves at CDPQ, Savills …

Managing Editor
  • Nov. 15, 2019
IMAGE: Michael Sabia will step down as the president and CEO of the CDPQ. (Courtesy CDPQ)

Michael Sabia will step down as the president and CEO of the CDPQ. (Courtesy CDPQ)

Cominar REIT (CUF-UN-T) recently announced sweeping changes to executive ranks, including the addition of Bernard Poliquin as executive vice-president, office and chief real estate operations officer. He will oversee the leasing and property management teams for office and industrial assets as well as operations, maintenance and construction activities for the entire portfolio.

Poliquin has worked for several large industry organizations including Desjardins, JLL, Avison Young and most recently as senior vice-president at Ivanhoe Cambridge, managing a Quebec office portfolio and leading the transformation of Place Ville Marie.

“Bernard Poliquin’s arrival enhances our renewed leadership team, with broadened diversity of expertise and experience while ensuring leadership strength in our main market of Montreal,” Cominar president and CEO Sylvain Cossette said in a release.

Poliquin’s arrival completes the leadership team transformation under Cossette, which consists of executive vice-president and CFO Heather Kirk; executive VP retail and chief development officer Marie-Andrée Boutin; executive VP leasing – office and industrial Michael Racine; and executive VP operations and property management Wally Commisso.

As a result of the changes, former executive VP and COO Alain Dallaire has departed the company, along with vice-presidents Richard Fortin, Caroline Lacroix and Johanne Leclerc.

A number of other senior managers have been promoted or had their roles change. Richard Nolin becomes VP, retail and general manager for the Quebec Region; Guy Rondeau becomes VP and general manager of the construction unit; Sandra Lécuyer, the VP of talent and organization, adds communications to her responsibilities.

In addition, new talent has recently been added to the management team: Sébastien Dubois, VP leasing, retail; Jean-Marc Rouleau, VP operations, retail; Brigitte Dufour, VP  legal affairs and corporate secretary; Mélanie Vallée, VP  data and technology; Antoine Tronquoy, executive director, capital markets; Alexandra Faciu, executive director, asset and portfolio management.

Sabia moving on from CDPQ

Michael Sabia, president and CEO of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), announced that after 11 years at the helm of the institution he will leave in February 2020. He has accepted an offer to lead the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

“Leading CDPQ for nearly 11 years has been the greatest privilege of my career. Throughout this period, my goal has been to realize the full potential of this unique institution to benefit the people of Québec. I know that I am leaving CDPQ and its people in a strong position to seize the many opportunities that lie ahead for them as I move on to my next challenge,” said Sabia in a release.

Under Sabia’s leadership, CDPQ was transformed after the 2008 financial crisis, refocusing on the long term and on the fundamental value drivers of the companies and projects in which it invests. CDPQ has produced solid and sustainable returns of 9.9 per cent over 10 years for its depositors – nearly tripling its assets from $120.1 billion to $326.7 billion – the result of a strategy based on diversification and globalization of its activities.

CDPQ’s board of directors has started the selection process for the next president and CEO.

Savills boosts staff at new Calgary office

IMAGE: Jeremy Berman has been named managing director at Savills' new Calgary office. (Courtesy Savills)

Jeremy Berman has been named managing director at Savills’ new Calgary office. (Courtesy Savills)

Savills has appointed Jeremy Berman as managing director, Jessica Downie as transaction manager and Bradyn McCullough as associate in its new Calgary office. Specializing in tenant representation, the team will provide consulting and workplace advisory services to clients throughout the region. 

“We are strengthening our integrated team of brokers and consultants in Western Canada with market-leading professionals to better serve our clients,” said Josh Hamill, senior managing director, Calgary, in a release.

Berman takes 15 years of tenant representation experience to the firm. Prior to joining Savills, he served as a vice-president at Colliers. Downie joined from Cresa, where she advised tenants in the TAMI and energy sectors. McCullough moved to Savills after two years as a tenant rep at Cresa, where he specialized in industrial leasing, subleasing and sales.

Savills has significantly grown its workforce in North America in recent years. The firm now has more than 800 employees, up from 575 in 2014, in more than 30 offices in the United States and Canada.

SNC-Lavalin confirms Edwards as CEO

Ian Edwards has been confirmed as the new CEO of SNC-Lavalin, after being promoted to the position on an interim basis in June when Neil Bruce left the company.

Edwards has been leading sweeping reorganizations at the firm, which is facing a series of corruption charges and has been embroiled in political scandal.

Plaza Retail REIT names director

Plaza Retail REIT (PLZ-UN-T) has appointed Jane Marshall to its board of trustees. 

Marshall has over 30 years of experience in real estate management. She was the COO of Choice Properties REIT and played a key role in its IPO. Marshall previously served as executive vice-president of real estate and business strategies for Loblaw Properties and its 65-million-square-foot portfolio. 

Most recently, she was a start-up advisor and CEO for Goodleaf Farms. 

Marshall has an ICD.D designation and a degree from the University of Toronto. She is also a trustee of RioCan REIT and chair of its investment committee. 

Landmark appoints director of corporate accounts

Angelina Castelli is the new director of corporate accounts, Eastern Canada, for Landmark Advisory Services. Castelli has a varied, 20-year professional background in the field.

Most recently, Castelli was the vice-president of leasing in Canada for Aeroterm, a North American private developer. Previously, she worked for Astral Media as director of real estate services.

“Having represented both tenants and landlords in different roles throughout my career, the one thing that stands out is partnership,” Castelli said in a release. “The partnership between landlord and tenant is paramount in creating win-win scenarios for all.”

New CEO at RentMoola

Vancouver-based RentMoola Payment Solutions Inc. has named Karthik Manimozhi as CEO and a member of its board of directors.  The firm offers payment solutions for multifamily owners and property managers.

Manimozhi was most recently the executive vice-president (worldwide sales) of Kyriba. Manimozhi built and managed Kyriba teams that tripled global revenues, resulting in the company’s value quintupling in under four years to $1.2 billion.

During a 20-plus-year international career, Manimozhi moved from Citibank India to SAP Europe, served as chief of ecosystem and executive director, SAP Americas; president and COO at 1-Page; and chief of worldwide sales at DELL EMC. Manimhozi also served as chairman of the board for Nexus Payments.

“RentMoola has an amazing opportunity in front of it, one where we can take this platform and leverage it to grow existing business while capturing new markets around the world,” said Manimozhi in a release.

RentMoola is partnered with Ayrshire Real Estate Management Inc., which made a significant minority investment in June 2019.


Don is a veteran editor and journalist with three decades of experience in print and online news, including 20 years at the Ottawa Sun. Most recently, he was the Sun’s…

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Don is a veteran editor and journalist with three decades of experience in print and online news, including 20 years at the Ottawa Sun. Most recently, he was the Sun’s…

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