Ontario Teachers evolves its real estate operating model

Strategic shift with Cadillac Fairview aims to accelerate investment growth and diversification

Ontario Teachers evolves its real estate operating model

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Cadillac Fairview (CF) have announced a leadership change and an evolution in their real estate operating model to accelerate the growth and diversification of real estate investments.

John Sullivan, president and CEO of CF, will retire on November 1, 2023, after a career of over 30 years. Salvatore Iacono, currently executive vice president, Operations, has been appointed as his successor.

During his tenure, Sullivan played a pivotal role in transforming CF into a premier real estate company, creating community hubs.

Jeff Jacobson, chair of CF's board, expressed gratitude for Sullivan's leadership and confidence in Iacono's abilities to lead CF in the coming years.

"I would like to thank John for tremendous leadership over many years. He has been instrumental in elevating CF into one of the world's premier real estate companies and a leader in cultivating vibrant destinations and innovative communities," said Jacobson. "I would also like to congratulate Sal on his new role as President and CEO. I am confident that given his extensive experience, broad network, and strong leadership capabilities that he is well-placed to lead CF in the coming years."

Sullivan expressed pride in the accomplishments of CF and his excitement for the future under Iacono's leadership. He will remain at CF in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition.

"It has been a tremendous honour to lead the talented team at CF for 13 years. Together we have built an unmatched portfolio, transformed cities across Canada, and built exciting partnerships with some of the best companies in the world," said Sullivan. "I am incredibly proud of all we have accomplished and will watch with great pride as CF continues to lead the industry with Sal at the helm and in ongoing partnership with Ontario Teachers'."

In addition to the leadership change, Ontario Teachers' and CF will evolve their operating model to support further growth and value creation. Ontario Teachers' aims to establish an in-house real estate asset class group to oversee real estate investment activities. This move aligns with the investment approach of other asset groups within Ontario Teachers', facilitating information sharing and best practices.

To implement this model, Ontario Teachers' will welcome CF's team of 37 real estate investment professionals and conduct a search for a Global Head of Real Estate. The real estate group will report to Ziad Hindo, Chief Investment Officer of Ontario Teachers'.

Chief Investment Officer Ziad Hindo expressed enthusiasm for the continued partnership with CF and the opportunity to strengthen both organizations as leading global investors and Canadian real estate owners and developers.

"We are excited to continue our decades-long relationship with CF under an evolved model that will capitalize on expertise across our two organizations and further strengthen our respective positions as a leading global investor and a best-in-class Canadian real estate owner and developer," said Hindo. "We are excited to welcome members of CF's international investments team directly into Ontario Teachers' in the new year as we establish a leading real estate investment group as a strategic complement to our existing investment teams across other asset classes."

Under the evolved model, Ontario Teachers' will focus on global real estate investing and portfolio management, while CF will concentrate on expanding and diversifying its real estate portfolio in Canada.

CF will continue to provide exceptional real estate services to Ontario Teachers' global platform.

Have something to say about this story? Let us know in the comments below.