Unite Group, Tokoro Capital, Pradera, Stenprop, Border to Coast, Avis Budget Group International, The Grounds, Accentro Real Estate, Aberdeen Standard, RDI REIT, JLL
JLL – Barbara Cominelli has been appointed CEO of Italy to succeed Pierre Marin as he takes on a newly created role as chairman of the board and senior advisor at JLL Italy. Marin will be responsible for growing JLL’s business with strategic clients as well as in fostering business development with an active focus on the Italian real estate market. Cominelli joins next month from Microsoft Italy, where she was COO, marketing and operations director. Prior to that, she was director of digital, commercial operations and wholesale at Vodafone Italy. Her previous professional experience includes leadership roles in the industrial, venture capital and consulting industries in Italy and internationally.
Stenprop – The UK multi-let industrial property company has appointed Richard Smith and Louisa Bell independent non-executive directors. Smith has been CEO of The Unite Group since June 2016. Having joined Unite as deputy CFO in 2010. Bell is a former UK country manager of Avis Budget Group International. She has held a number of senior commercial and operational roles Cigna Healthcare, Eurostar and British Airways.
Tokoro Capital – The real estate investment manager has appointed John Hopkins as head of finance. Based in London, Hopkins will oversee the company’s finance function, including all accounting, compliance and auditing processes. He joins Tokoro after three and a half years at Pradera, where he oversaw a €700m portfolio of pan-European retail assets. He spent 11 years at Ares Management where he rose to director, finance and accounting. Prior to joining Ares, he spent eight years at Barings Asset Management culminating in the role of Group Financial Controller.
RDI REIT – Stephen Oakenfull joins the board and succeeds retiring CEO Mike Watters. Oakenfull joined RDI in May 2007 and has held the role of deputy CEO since 2013. He has previously held the role of COO at RDI. As CEO, Oakenfull will retain his role as a member of the investment committee and will also replace Watters on the sustainability and social responsibility committee. Before joining RDI, Oakenfull held roles with DTZ Corporate Finance and Turner & Townsend in real estate corporate finance and management consulting roles respectively. Watters will be retiring from the company and stepping down as an executive director and CEO next month.
Border to Coast – The UK public pension asset pool has appointed Tim Sankey to head real estate as it prepares to launch property funds. Sankey joined Border to Coast this month, having most recently been fund manager for the Aberdeen UK Property Fund at Aberdeen Standard Investments, where he worked for 17 years. At Border to Coast, he will lead the development of the pool’s property offering, which is likely to comprise two vehicles, a predominantly direct UK fund and an indirect global fund of funds.
PGIM Real Estate – INREV’s Henri Vuong has been appointed by PGIM Real Estate to lead a newly created debt investment research role. Vuong has been hired as executive director and will head real estate debt investment research within PGIM Real Estate’s global investment research team. Vuong will be based in London. In September, European association for investors in non-listed real estate vehicles INREV announced the appointment of Iryna Pylypchuk as the new director of research and market information to replace Vuong who was leaving at the end of the month after six years at the helm of the association’s research and market information team. Vuong’s previous work experience also includes being part of the real estate finance origination team at The Royal Bank of Scotland and a senior property research analyst at PRUPIM, now M&G Real Estate.
The Grounds Real Estate Development – Thomas Schäfer-Aabakke has been named head of corporate finance and accounting. Schäfer-Aabakke spent several years with Accentro Real Estate, initially as consultant for group accounting/IFRS after joining the company in July 2015 before becoming head of corporate finance while also put in charge of group accounting in 2016 and eventually being made an authorised signatory in January of 2019.