People Space: New execs at AHIP, AY, MCAN, Arup, Altus…

Managing Editor
  • May. 8, 2019
IMAGE: Bruce Pittet is AHIP's new senior vice president of asset management and chief operating officer. (Courtesy AHIP)

Bruce Pittet is AHIP’s new senior vice-president of asset management and chief operating officer. (Courtesy AHIP)

American Hotel Income Properties REIT (AHIP) has named Bruce Pittet its senior vice-president of asset management & chief operating officer.

Pittet becomes a key executive leader for AHIP (HOT-UN-T) and its U.S. subsidiaries. He will be responsible for: AHIP’s hotel profitability; leading AHIP’s hotel renovations program; and brand relations with AHIP’s hotel brand partners Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Choice and Wyndham Hotels. 

“We are very excited to welcome Bruce to our team,” said AHIP CEO John O’Neill in a release. “The breadth of his hotel management expertise and his strong familiarity with our hotel portfolio will be invaluable as we continue driving organic growth through our 112 properties – including those that have recently received significant renovations. 

Pittet has more than 30 years of hotel management, planning and operating experience across North America, with the last 20 years spent in the U.S. He has hotel experience and knowledge of more than 100 U.S. markets, and has been a leader of multiple major property launches, turnarounds and re-positioning initiatives.

For the past six years, Pittet was senior vice-president at ONE Lodging, which is now part of Aimbridge Hospitality – North America’s largest hotel management company and AHIP’s independent hotel manager.

Pittet also has experience with Starwood Development and Intrawest.

Two senior appointments at AY

Avison Young principal Gerry Hughes will spearhead the firm’s European expansion programme as its new president, Europe. Hughes was formerly CEO of U.K.-based GVA and is also a member of AY’s global executive committee.

The announcement follows Avison Young’s acquisition of GVA, which closed on Feb. 1. 

“This is an exciting time for our business,” said CEO and chairman Mark Rose in a release. “Our growth plan is strategic and long-term. We aim to amplify our operations through the recruitment of individuals and acquisition of teams and whole businesses, as well as continue to expand geographically. 

IMAGE: Gerry Hughes is the new president, Europe, at Avison Young. (Courtesy Avison Young)

Gerry Hughes is the new president, Europe, at Avison Young. (Courtesy Avison Young)

“Now that the U.K. integration is nearly complete, this is the right time for Gerry to turn his leadership talents to the next stage of our ambitious expansion: Europe.”

“I am tremendously excited by the potential presented for our business in Europe,” said Hughes in the release. “This is an opportunity that I have long looked forward to – to help build a market-leading real estate advisory platform across Europe.”

Meanwhile, in Toronto AY has hired Eamonn Murphy as principal and a member of the firm’s tenant advisory and enterprise solutions group. His mandate is to help grow the firm’s service-line coverage across the GTA and nationally. Murphy is a tenant advisory and enterprise solutions specialist.

Murphy brings more than 30 years of industry experience to the post, most recently at JLL Canada where he was an executive vice-president of Toronto operations. Prior to joining JLL, he was an office leasing specialist with Cushman & Wakefield in Toronto and consistently one of its top five performers nationally.

“Eamonn’s client relationships, market knowledge and leadership skills will increase our tenant advisory and enterprise solutions group capabilities in the GTA,” said Mark Fieder, principal and COO of Canadian operations, in a release.

Craig Forrest heads Arup Canada

Arup, a global leader in the built environment, has named Craig Forrest to lead its Canadian operations. Forrest works out of Arup’s Toronto office.

IMAGE: Craig Forrest is now heading up Canadian operations for Arup. (Courtesy Arup)

Craig Forrest is now heading up Canadian operations for Arup. (Courtesy Arup)

Forrest brings more than 24 years of experience in helping clients invest in major infrastructure projects in energy, aviation, water, transport and cities. For the past five years, Forrest has served as the global leader for Arup’s business and investor advisory services, providing strategic business, financial, economic, regulatory and asset management advice.

Forrest will work closely with Andrew McAlpine, the previous Canada leader who remains at Arup as a principal.

Arup also named Melissa Burton as the consulting practice leader in Canada. Burton is Canadian and joins the Toronto office from New York. Also as a leader with Arup’s advanced technology and research team, Burton brings a wealth of technical knowledge, client relationships, and business leadership.

Arup provides consulting, planning, engineering, and design services for projects and sites in the built environment.

Karen Weaver MCAN’s new CEO

MCAN Mortgage Corporation (MKP-T) has appointed Karen Weaver as president and chief executive officer. Weaver has been CEO on an interim basis since October 2018. 

She has over 30 years of experience as an executive and CFO of Canadian publicly listed companies, including DH Corporation, First Capital Realty, Brookfield Properties Corporation, Canadian Operations and Gentra. She is a member of the board of directors at MCAN and at MCAP Commercial LP.

Dyer, Long added to Altus board

Altus Group has named two new independent directors, Colin Dyer and Anthony Long, to the board of directors.

Dyer is a seasoned CRE executive with over 40 years of global experience, including significant board experience. He currently serves as chairman of the supervisory board of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

Long is an accomplished global CRE executive with over 30 years’ experience in development, asset management, property management and real estate technology.  He is a partner at CLX Ventures, LLC, and also served as global president of client care at CBRE.

New president, VP for Quebec brokers

Nathalie Bégin is the new president of the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers 2019-’20 board of directors. Bégin has over 30 years of real estate experience, including 20 years as a real estate broker.

Bégin has been a member of the board of directors of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board since 2012 and was named president in 2018.

Anouk Vidal has taken on the role of vice-president. Vidal has more than 10 years of experience as a broker and has been a member of the board of directors of the Chambre immobilière des Laurentides since 2011, including as president in 2018.

Diamantopoulos joins CMLS

CMLS Financial, one of Canada’s largest independent mortgage lenders, has appointed Nektar Diamantopoulos vice-president and managing director of real estate finance for Quebec.

Diamantopoulos will focus on growing CMLS’s lending and brokerage business in Quebec based in the Montreal office. He brings over 24 years of experience in commercial real estate in various capacities including real estate brokerage, lending and acquisitions.

Tawil joins Fiera Private Lending

Justin Tawil has become vice-president of compliance and risk management at Fiera Private Lending.

Tawil has more than a decade of experience in real estate and business financing, having mentored teams of employees at several other financial institutions. He’ll be involved in strengthening the risk-management framework for real estate and interim business financing.

Stewart joins Fasken RE group

Fasken has hired Ken Stewart as counsel to the firm’s real estate group in its Calgary office.

Stewart practises in commercial real estate and has experience in the oil and gas industry as well as power plants, wind farms and processing facilities. He has advised a variety of clients including an institutional investor which developed and operated a large portfolio of retail, office and hotel assets across the country.

He understands municipal legal matters and has experience working on issues specific to government entities.

Fasken is an international law firm with more than 700 lawyers and 10 offices on four continents.


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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