Vicinity reshuffle the deckchairs

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RETAIL REIT giant Vicinity Centres has unveiled a new executive committee structure to help the group realise mixed-use opportunities and expand its wholesale funds platform.

Vicinity CEO Grant Kelley said the leadership changes were the next significant step in Vicinity’s transformation by consolidating the investments function, strengthening intensive asset management, elevating strategy, innovation and digital and further embedding a high-performance culture.

“More than three years post-merger, the time is now right to realign our business to focus on the successful and swift execution of our new strategy,” Kelley said.

The changes are effective immediately.

Vicinity’s executive committee will comprise:

Simone Carroll – Group Executive, People and Transformation

Previously Executive General Manager (EGM) Digital, Marketing, People & Culture, Simone will focus on people and transformation to continue to drive Vicinity’s high-performance culture.

  • Stuart Macrae – Director, Leasin. Stuart will continue to lead the leasing function.
  • David Marcun – Director, Financial Operations. Previously EGM Business Development, David will take on a new role leading, streamlining and driving continuous improvement in financial operations.
  • Justin Mills – Chief Strategy Officer. Previously EGM Shopping Centre Management, Justin will take on a newly-created role responsible for developing and executing Vicinity’s corporate strategy. Justin will continue to oversee shopping centres until the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer.
  • Michael O’Brien – Chief Financial Officer. Previously Chief Investment Officer, Michael will lead a newly-consolidated finance and investments function, which will now include finance, investment management, capital transactions and Vicinity’s wholesale funds and strategic partnerships business.
  • Carolyn Reynolds – General Counsel. Carolyn will continue to lead Vicinity’s legal, compliance, safety and risk functions.
  • Carolyn Viney – Group Executive, Development. Carolyn will continue to be responsible for Vicinity’s development pipeline and realising mixed-use opportunities across the portfolio.

At the same time, two new executive committee roles have been created, including:

  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) which will integrate operations, leveraging existing strengths in leasing, shopping centre management and marketing, and
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) to elevate the role of technology and digital to drive retailer and consumer experience.

International searches are underway for the two new CIO roles.

As part of the changes, chief financial officer (CFO) Richard Jamieson will be leaving Vicinity. He joined Novion Property Group (Novion) in 2014 as CFO and continued with Vicinity post the merger between Novion and Federation Centres in 2015.

Kelley said during his past four years as CFO, he had made a significant contribution to the successful integration of and delivery of synergies from the merger, strengthened Vicinity’s balance sheet position that led to an upgrade of Vicinity’s credit rating to ‘A/stable’ by Standard and Poor’s, drove cost efficiencies and created a unified finance team.

Michael O’Brien, previously Vicinity’s chief investment officer, will replace Jamieson and lead the newly-consolidated finance and investments function. He joined Vicinity in October 2015 from GPT.

“Michael has played a major role in the transformation of Vicinity since the merger, leading the significant repositioning of Vicinity’s real estate portfolio which has included the divestment of $2.5 billion of assets, the expansion of the highly successful DFO outlet portfolio and the Sydney CBD assets/Chatswood Chase Sydney asset swap with GIC.

“He has significant finance and investment experience, as well as deep understanding of real estate management and development, which is critical for the next stage of Vicinity’s growth.” Kelly said.

Australian Property Journal