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Way to succeed Dost as GWLRA president on June 1

Glenn Way, pictured, will succeed Ralf Dost as president of GWL Realty Advisors on June 1. (Courtesy GWLRA)
Glenn Way, pictured, will succeed Ralf Dost as president of GWL Realty Advisors on June 1. (Courtesy GWLRA)

Glenn Way will succeed Ralf Dost as president of GWL Realty Advisors (GWLRA) on June 1.

After spending 23 years with GWLRA, including five as president, on that date Dost will become chair of the board to support Way and focus on driving the company's strategic growth priorities. 

Dost will retire from his full-time responsibilities on Nov. 1 but will continue as chair and a member of the GWLRA investment committee, while providing support to Canada Life’s real estate investment program in the United States.

“As chief operating officer, I have worked closely with Ralf in guiding GWL Realty Advisors over the last several years and I would say our leadership style complements each other,” Way told RENX in an email interview. 

“Throughout my career, I have always believed that people are the heart of our business and as president I will continue to build on the company’s strong foundation to deliver on our growth strategy, offer rewarding careers for employees and make valuable contributions to the communities where GWL Realty Advisors operates.”

Way has 22 years of GWLRA experience

Way has been with GWLRA for 22 years in increasingly senior positions, including his current role as executive vice-president and COO.

“My experience at GWL Realty Advisors has provided regular opportunities to try something different,” said Way.  “Any time the chance to adjust scope occurred I was open to it; for me it represented an opportunity to learn and required me to regularly earn the trust of others.

"Over my career at GWL Realty Advisors, I have had my scope change 10 times.

“In addition, I have been fortunate to have developed strong relationships with numerous industry professionals from various companies, roles and experiences.

"They have been a great sounding board and have generously provided a varied perspective while being highly transparent in helping me discover my strengths, areas of opportunity and natural tendencies. 

“These factors, coupled with my passion for continual learning, have been meaningful contributors for progression.”

GWLRA’s mandate

Toronto-headquartered GWLRA is a subsidiary of The Canada Life Assurance Company, which provides insurance, wealth management and health-care benefit products and services in Canada, the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Germany, and in Ireland through Irish Life.

GWLRA provides asset management, property management, development and specialized real estate advisory services to pension funds and institutional clients.

It manages a portfolio of office, industrial, retail and multiresidential assets valued at $17 billion, as well as an active pipeline of new development projects. 

“Managing a national real estate company is about creating value in both financial and social forms,” said Way. “Investors, residents, businesses and our people are beneficiaries of this value. 

“The buildings we manage offer a tremendous opportunity to add value to the communities where we operate and we continue to find innovative ways to leverage under-utilized space. 

“As an example, through our partnership with MicroHabitat, an urban farming company, we host incredible urban rooftop gardens on 17 of our managed office properties across Canada.

"Last year we shared the harvest (6,400 pounds of food) with local food banks, allowing us to help fill a need for accessible and fresh, nutritious food at a time when Canadian food bank usage is quickly rising.”

GWLRA’s development activity

GWLRA’s highest percentage of investment activity has been in the multiresidential and industrial asset classes. It has a significant number of development sites across the country geared to those asset classes.

GWLRA has completed $6 billion worth of development projects and has a pipeline of future developments that exceeds $3 billion.

“Over the past 12 months we delivered three state-of-the art, amenity-rich residential rental buildings,” Way said.

Chronicle and The Bowline in Vancouver and Le Livmore in Montreal represent 700 units of much-needed rental supply. 

“In addition, on behalf of our clients, we opened Vancouver Centre II, a leading-edge 370,000-square-foot office development in downtown Vancouver.

"We are currently under construction in Mississauga and Ottawa to develop an additional 700 units of residential units along with completing Abbotside, an industrial development in the GTA.”

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