People Space: Zegarac heads Waterfront Toronto, Dockrill COO at AY

Managing Editor
  • Jun. 28, 2019
IMAGE: MArtin Dockrill is the new chief operating officer, global operations, at Avison Young. (Courtesy AY)

Martin Dockrill is the new chief operating officer, global operations, at Avison Young. (Courtesy AY)

Waterfront Toronto has hired long-time Ontario government official George Zegarac as its new CEO, effective Aug. 19. 

Board chairman Stephen Diamond highlighted Zegarac’s public service experience in multiple portfolios, including realty and infrastructure.

“George was instrumental in brokering the historic $1.2-billion investment made by governments to unlock the Port Lands for development, and brings a proven record of collaboration needed to get things done,” Diamond said in a release announcing the appointment. 

Zegarac spent 33 years (11 as a deputy minister) with several portfolios including infrastructure, environment, health and education. He has provided leadership and developed strategy for the province’s real estate portfolio.   

“From my time with the government of Ontario, I have a particular appreciation for the incredible work of Waterfront Toronto over the past almost two decades, as well as its potential,” said Zegarac in the release. 

He replaces interim CEO Michael Nobrega, who assumed that role in July 2018.

Dockrill becomes COO at AY

Avison Young has promoted principal Martin Dockrill to chief operating officer, global operations. Dockrill has 24 years of commercial real estate experience, all with Avison Young, including time as managing director of the Ontario region.

He has served in management and transactional roles, including brokering more than 10 million square feet of industrial and office space and selling more than $1 billion worth of investment properties. He will oversee company operations and the work of the executive management team in business service departments, including legal, marketing, research, human resources and IT.

“Our leadership team could not be more thrilled to welcome Martin to this new role,” said Mark E. Rose, chairman and CEO of Avison Young. “Since beginning his career with Avison Young as an associate in 1994, Martin has been with us every step of the way, and through every milestone since we began our rapid-growth phase in 2008.”

Dockrill will continue to be based in AY’s global headquarters in downtown Toronto and remains a member of AY’s global executive committee.

Avison Young adds Grover, Deol in Edmonton

Industry veterans Amit Grover and Jandip Deol have joined Avison Young’s Edmonton operations, becoming principals of the company to launch its multi-family real estate practice in the region.

They bring to Avison Young a combined 25-plus years of commercial real estate experience with Colliers International in Edmonton, where Grover was a senior vice-president and Deol was a vice-president.

“We are thrilled to announce that we have recruited an outstanding team to launch our Edmonton-area, multi-family practice,” said Cory Wosnack, Avison Young principal and managing director of the Edmonton region.

“This team holds a top-two market-share position, and we expect that with our collaborative approach and their entrepreneurial spirit and professionalism, we will be able to serve our clients in an expanded way to meet their multi-family property needs.”

Grover has been directly involved in the sale of more than 5,000 apartment units and 25 acres of infill and suburban land across Alberta. His total asset sales to date exceed $600 million. Deol has been involved in the analysis and sale of more than 3,900 apartment units and $510 million of multi-family real estate in the province.

Together, Grover and Deol experienced a career-high in 2018, transacting on more than $165 million worth of multi-family real estate.

Also joining Avison Young in Edmonton from Colliers is Brandon Imada as a senior associate. He will continue to work as part of Grover and Deol’s team.

Hankach interim CFO at Inovalis REIT

Khalil Hankach has been appointed the new interim chief financial officer of Inovalis REIT (INO.UN-T), effective immediately. He remains as the chief investment officer and previously served as the REIT’s initial CFO. Hankach replaces Tom Wenner, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

The REIT also announced the return of Stéphane Amine to its board of trustees. Amine is president of the REIT and the founder of Inovalis S.A., the REIT’s manager. His return to the board brings the number of trustees to seven.

Inovalis REIT is a Toronto-headquartered trust which acquires and owns office properties primarily located in France and Germany.

CIM International appoints CEO, executives

CIM International Group Inc. (CIM-CN) has named Dianyuan Zhang its new chairman of the board as part of a shakeup of its senior management. The Markham-based company also announced Maggie Di Guo as interim chief financial officer.

Zhang has been a director since 2016 and has been engaged in building construction and real estate development in China for more than 25 years. Currently, he invests in real estate projects in Canada.

Guo is a CPA and CGA with more than 15 years of experience in accounting and finance. She joined the company in November 2018 as CO-CFO after serving several companies as vice-president, general manager and controller.

Leaving the company are: former chairman of the board Jiubin Feng, who will remain in his CEO position until the upcoming AGM; former CFO Dan Fuoco; president Yanfeng Chen; and director Alexander Keung.

White takes over project oversight at SNC-Lavalin

SNC-Lavalin (SNC-T) has appointed Nigel W.M. White to the newly created position of executive vice-president, project oversight, effective Aug. 1. In this global role, he will report to Ian L. Edwards, interim president and chief executive officer and will join the executive committee. He will be based in London, U.K.

“This new role will be integral to ensuring we meet our project delivery and execution across all our operations. It will drive consistency, assess risk for the company and help us fulfil clients’ expectations in a profitable manner,” said Edwards in a release.

White has 32 years of experience managing civil, building, foundation and electrical and mechanical contracts in Hong Kong, the U.K. and U.S.A. Prior to joining SNC-Lavalin, he was executive director at Gammon Construction Limited in Hong Kong, and spent over 20 years at Balfour Beatty.

Saul new U.K. asset manager at Ivanhoé Cambridge

Ivanhoé Cambridge has appointed Richard Saul as director of U.K. asset management, working out of its London office. Ivanhoé Cambridge’s U.K. portfolio exceeds $3.2 billion and consists of properties and projects in the logistics, office and residential sectors.

Formerly the head of leasing with Lendlease, Saul will oversee projects in the U.K. and manage and develop its portfolio. While at Lendlease, Saulo was responsible for overseeing the company’s foray into the office leasing market.

Ivanhoé Cambridge is the real estate arm of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Seeds joins Frontenac board of directors

Ryan Seeds has joined the board of directors of Frontenac MIC. Seeds has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the board and will stand for election by the shareholders at the next AGM in June 2020.

A CPA, Seeds ran his family’s accounting firm until selling the business in 2016. He has been providing CFO services to Frontenac since.

Frontenac is a prospectus product managed by W. A. Robinson Asset Management Ltd. It has assets under management of over $190 million.


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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