People Space: Drimmer steps down at True North and more…

Apr 14, 2021

True North Commercial REIT (TNT-UN-T) has announced Daniel Drimmer will step down as president and CEO as of May 17, with Leslie Veiner taking over as CEO. Tracy Sherren will become the president.

Veiner, the current chief financial officer of Northview Canadian High Yield Residential Fund (NHF-UN-T), will also join the board of trustees of the REIT. Sherren, the REIT’s current chief financial officer, will also retain her title as CFO and remain a trustee of the REIT.

Drimmer retains his roles as chief executive officer and president at Starlight, which operates Northview in partnership with KingSett Capital. Drimmer is also a significant shareholder in True North.

“The combination of Tracy as president and chief financial officer and Leslie as chief executive officer provides the REIT with a leadership team possessing an exceptionally strong combination of commercial real estate experience and business acumen,” said Drimmer, who will remain chairman of the True North board of trustees.

“Since the REIT’s formation in 2012, Tracy has played an instrumental role in the REIT’s successful focus on delivering long-term unitholder value.

“Leslie has held key roles within the Starlight organization over the past decade and we are very excited to add him to the existing seasoned management team at the REIT.”

Veiner served as Northview’s CFO since the closing of its initial public offering in November 2020. He also served as CFO of Northview Apartment REIT from 2015 to October 2020.

To fill the vacancy left by Veiner, Northview has appointed Sarah Walker as its new CFO. Walker brings over 15 years of senior financial experience to Northview, having spent 13 years with WestJet Airlines Ltd. most recently as vice-president, controller and supply chain.

Duncan promoted to CIO at RioCan

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI-UN-T) has promoted Andrew Duncan to the newly created position of chief investment officer. Duncan will oversee the trust’s 42-million-square-foot development pipeline and investment transactions to optimize its portfolio for future growth.

Duncan joined RioCan in 2013 and was elevated quickly to senior vice-president, development, playing an instrumental role in executing its long-term growth strategy. He has significant experience working with partners and other stakeholders to deliver complex mixed-use development projects, such as The Well in downtown Toronto.

He’s an established member of the senior leadership team, bringing a balanced knowledge of construction, planning and analytics to the table.

BentallGreenOak names Iacoucci CIO

BentallGreenOak has appointed Christina Iacoucci to chief investment officer in Canada. She’ll be responsible for leading the firm’s real estate investment strategies for its Canadian funds and separate account mandates.

Iacoucci has nearly three decades of commercial real estate experience, specializing in investments, asset management, development and valuation. She spent 23 of those years with BentallGreenOak’s parent company Sun Life Financial, most recently as a managing partner and portfolio manager for the Sun Life Canadian Real Estate Equity Portfolio.

She is on the boards of both NAIOP and the Commercial Real Estate Equity & Diversity Council. She is a longstanding member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Commercial Real Estate Women’s (CREW) Network.

Yip takes CFO role at Madison Pacific

Madison Pacific Properties (MPC-T) has promoted Bernice Yip as its new chief financial officer, taking over the role previously held by Dino Di Marco.

Yip served as senior director of finance and brings many years of financial management experience to the role. She holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and is a CPA.

Di Marco left the firm to accept the role of executive vice-president and chief financial officer for Madison Venture Corporation, a significant shareholder of Madison Pacific Properties.

Jacobs heads up research at C&W Canada

Adam Jacobs, PhD, has joined Cushman & Wakefield as head of Canada research, based in Toronto.

Jacobs will partner with Cushman & Wakefield leadership, brokers and service-line leaders in developing research content and lead the firm’s national research efforts.

Jacobs joins Cushman & Wakefield from Oxford Properties, where he was director of analytics. He has held leadership roles in banking and boutique consulting. Jacobs also holds a number of technical designations in data visualization and data engineering.

He is a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and earned a PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin.

Great Gulf names Ansari to U.S. single-family role

Aole Ansari has taken on the role of chief operating officer of Great Gulf Group’s single-family build-to-rent initiative in the U.S. Sunbelt.

He will lead the firm’s single-family build-to-rent platform, developing its strategic direction and implementing business plans. Its first development communities comprise about 525 homes in Charleston, S.C.; San Antonio, Texas; and Tampa, Fla.

Ansari has led multiple growth businesses for public and private companies to raise capital, acquire, develop and sell properties across multiple asset classes. During his time at Corvias and Lendlease, Aole was the executive manager for its student housing, medical office, market residential development and hotel business units, respectively.

Over the course of his career, Ansari has originated and closed more than a $1 billion worth of transactions.

Klein new trustee at Northwest

NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT (NWH-UN-T) announced the addition of Dale Klein to its board as an independent trustee and a member of its audit committee.

Klein brings more than three decades of experience in the real estate industry in a variety of capacities including finance, property acquisition, development, asset management, underwriting and risk management.

He is the founder and CEO of Canada ICI Capital Corporation, which has annual origination volumes in excess of $5 billion and assets under management of more than $2 billion. Prior to founding Canada ICI in 1993, Klein was the president of Canada West Limited.

Klein replaces Karen Weaver, who served as an independent trustee since May 2018 and is resigning to dedicate more time to her executive and personal commitments.

Hamilton joins Canderel in Ottawa

IMAGE: Canderel has hired Shawn Hamilton as its vice-president of business development for the National Capital Region. (Courtesy CBRE)

Canderel has hired Shawn Hamilton as its vice-president of business development for the National Capital Region. (Courtesy CBRE)

Montreal-based Canderel has hired longtime Ottawa broker and CBRE executive Shawn Hamilton as its vice-president of business development for the National Capital Region.

Hamilton spent 16 years at CBRE in Ottawa, rising to become its senior vice-president and managing director of the Ottawa office.

Hamilton brings almost three decades of real estate experience to the new role. He is also currently the president of BOMA Ottawa and a founding member of the ULI Ottawa chapter.

An Ottawa native, Hamilton holds a BA from the University of Toronto.

Lam to retire from Mainstreet Equity

Mainstreet Equity Corp. (MEQ-T) says chief operating officer Johnny Lam is planning to retire as of April 20.

In anticipation of his departure, Mainstreet increased and strengthened its senior management team and Lam has been transitioning his responsibilities and duties to other managers. Accordingly, Mainstreet is not planning to immediately fill the position when he departs.

Defer joins Tribe Property Technologies as CFO

Tribe Property Technologies (TRBE-V) has hired Jim Defer as chief financial officer to support one of Canada’s fastest-growing residential community management companies. Defer is a seasoned financial executive with expertise in taking high-growth companies public.

He has held a number of senior executive finance roles over the past 25 years, most recently as CFO at, a technology-based grocery delivery company.

Prior to that, Defer worked with Food-X Technologies, Canopy Growth Corporation and SunSelect Produce. He is also the former head of investment banking at PI Financial, a Canadian independent full-service investment dealer.

In conjunction with the appointment, John Tims stepped down as CFO, but remains Tribe’s corporate secretary.

Miles appointed to RESAAS advisory board

RESAAS Services Inc. (RSS-V), a technology platform for the real estate industry, has added Randall Miles to its advisory board.

Miles has over 25 years’ experience in senior management, corporate finance, private equity, business development and merchant banking. He has held executive positions in public and private enterprise and is currently vice-chair of eXp World Holdings’ board of directors  and managing partner at SCM Capital Group.

The RESAAS platform enables real estate brokerages, franchises and associations to bring real-time communication, new business opportunities and data to their agents on a global basis.