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  • Sep. 21, 2020

Edwin Cass is the new chief investment officer at CPP Investments, and Deborah Orida takes over as senior managing director and global head of assets. (Courtesy CPP Investments)

Canada Pension Plan Investments has announced three senior executive changes, including the appointments of Edwin Cass as chief investment officer and Deborah Orida as senior managing director and global head of assets.

Cass becomes CPP Investments’ first dedicated CIO. He joined CPP Investments in 2008 and held various positions within public markets before becoming chief investment strategist and then global head of real assets. He holds a BS in theoretical physics from Queen’s University in Kingston and a bachelor of laws from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Orida will be responsible for the global real assets program, which encompasses energy and resources, infrastructure, power and renewables, real estate and portfolio value creation. She moves over from her previous position as senior managing director and global head of active equities.

Orida joined CPP Investments in 2009. With more than 25 years of investment experience, she spent nine years at Goldman Sachs in New York and Toronto. Orida holds a bachelor of laws and BA from Queen’s University and an MBA from The Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania.

A new senior managing director and global head of active equities is still being sought.

Gibbs becomes COO at Summit Industrial

Summit Industrial Income REIT (SMU-UN-T) has appointed Dayna Gibbs its new COO.

Gibbs has been a trustee of the REIT, served as chair of the compensation committee and a member of the ESG committee. She has an extensive background in real estate investment banking and was most recently a partner with Blair Franklin Capital Partners.

Her career spans over two decades and saw her contribute to the formative years of the Canadian public REIT market, as well as having been involved in complex, high-profile transactions.

She holds an honours bachelor of arts degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario, is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, holds a certificate in artificial intelligence from The MIT Sloan School of Management, is a fellow of The Institute of Coaching McLean/Harvard Medical School and is a recipient of The Top 100 Canadian Professionals Award for 2020.

Cominar names two new executives

Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust (CUF-UN-T) named Antoine Tronquoy executive vice-president and chief financial officer and hired Nathalie Rousseau as executive vice-president, asset management and transactions.

Tronquoy, who joined Cominar in March 2019, had been acting CFO since May. Tronquoy worked for many years at Morgan Stanley, Otéra Capital and the Inovalis Real Estate Investment Trust, where he served as CFO.

“In the past few months, Antoine has done a remarkable job of taking on the responsibilities of chief financial officer in a particularly complex and unprecedented context,” said Sylvain Cossette, president and CEO of Cominar, in a release.

“Based on his combined knowledge of the real estate and Cominar’s financial and operational environment, he is the ideal choice for the position.”

Rousseau has more than 25 years of experience, including 20 years with Ivanhoé Cambridge where she was responsible for retail asset management across Canada.

In this newly created role, she‘ll help identify value-creation opportunities within the industrial and retail portfolios, and be responsible for transactions and appraisal.

Parker joins Firm Capital board

Firm Capital American Realty Partners Trust (FCA-U-X)  has named Robert Parker to its board of trustees. Parker is the vice-president, investments and asset management for the Muzzo Group and Pemberton Developments.

Prior to his current role, Parker worked at a multinational residential company and mortgage company in a similar role. He’s a graduate of the Faculty of Law at Queens University and has his J.D. designation.

“Our current board members represent the ownership interests of approximately 26 per cent of the outstanding trust units, which is a strong alignment of interests with all unitholders,” said Eli Dadouch, president, CEO and vice-chair of the trust.

“With the addition of Robert, he will represent the 6.5 per cent ownership interest of the Muzzo Group. As such, the total board ownership interest representation will be in excess of 33 per cent.”

Brekken to retire from First Capital

IMAGE: Kay Brekken has announced her pending retirement as CFO at First Capital. (Courtesy First Capital)

Kay Brekken has announced her pending retirement as CFO at First Capital. (Courtesy First Capital)

Chief financial officer Kay Brekken plans to retire from First Capital Real Estate Investment Trust (FCR-UN-T) after a successor is found and a transition phase is complete.

“Kay has made significant contributions to First Capital through a transformational period for the company,” said Adam Paul, president and CEO of First Capital, in a release. “In her six years at FCR, Kay has led several critical initiatives including the complete redesign and reimplementation of our technology platform, our evolution into a widely held company in 2019 as well as our conversion to a REIT, to name a few.”

Brekken, who has over 25 years of North American financial leadership experience in a wide range of industries, plans to focus on board work upon her retirement.

Wang resigns at CIM International CEO

CIM International Group announced the resignation of Huxian (Alice) Wang as chief executive officer.

“On behalf of the company, its management, board of directors and shareholders, I would like to express our appreciation for Alice’s services and efforts as chief executive officer and wish her well in her future endeavours,” said Jiubin Feng, chairman of the company.

The Markham-based company did not immediately name a successor.

Osman succeeds Fair at Imperial Equities

Imperial Equities Inc. (IEI-X) said CFO Wendy Fair has left the firm and Azza Osman, CPA, CIA has been named interim CFO.

“Wendy Fair has been our CFO for more than a decade and has been a big part of the company’s growth and stability during this time,” said Sine Chadi, CEO of Imperial Equities, in a release. “We wish her every success.”

Osman has more than 10 years of experience in finance and accounting. She was most recently a senior manager with Grant Thornton LLP and prior to that worked with EY LLP.

She has spent most of her career providing assurance and advisory services to clients in multiple industries.

Azza holds a bachelor of commerce from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

Bowden promoted at Colliers

Scott Bowden is head of valuations and advisory services, Colliers Canada. (Courtesy Colliers)

Colliers International (CIGI-T) has promoted Scott Bowden to head of valuations and advisory services, Canada. In addition to his current responsibilities as managing director for British Columbia, Bowden will lead a team of valuation and tax managers, professionals, and appraisers across the country.

During his 11 years at Colliers, Bowden has been integral to the growth of the valuations practice group.

As an analyst, he honed his expertise in appraisals and in 2011, he was promoted to head of the property tax group in B.C. to reestablish the practice. Bowden grew the portfolio from $193 million to $6.4 billion in 2017.

In 2018, he became managing director for B.C,, where he has grown revenue by 66 per cent since taking on the role.

Resch new regional VP at Fairmont

Gregor Resch has been appointed regional vice-president and general manager for Fairmont Banff Springs, and will oversee Fairmont’s Western Mountain Region in Canada.

Resch has three decades of hospitality experience in Europe, the United States and Canada. He joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 1994 and was named general manager, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in 2008.

Under his leadership, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was the company hotel of the year in 2018.

He is a graduate of The Catering and Hotel Management School of the Chamber of Trade and Industry for Austria, and earned a Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management Certificate from Cornell University.

He replaces David Roberts, who has retired after a 40-year career with Fairmont and the industry.

McMillan appointed to ACMO board

Maple Ridge Community Management president Craig McMillan has been appointed to the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) board of directors.

McMillan joined MRCM in 2003 as a property manager. Since then, he has held multiple positions, including district manager, general manager of operations, and vice president of operations.



Don is a veteran editor and journalist with over three decades of experience in print and online news, including 20 years at the Ottawa Sun. Prior to joining RENX, Don…

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Don is a veteran editor and journalist with over three decades of experience in print and online news, including 20 years at the Ottawa Sun. Prior to joining RENX, Don…

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