Hammerson’s mixed-use Victoria Quarter in Leeds, UK. Picture: 123RF
Hammerson’s mixed-use Victoria Quarter in Leeds, UK. Picture: 123RF

UK and Europe shopping centre owner Hammerson has appointed Rita-Rose Gagné as its new CEO.

Gagné is expected to replace current CEO David Atkins by the end of the year, and was most recently president of growth markets at Ivanhoé Cambridge, the global real estate company.

At that company she had responsibility for $7.6bn (R128bn) of real estate assets across Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Gagné is also a lawyer and holds an MBA from McGill-HEC Montreal.

During her career, she has worked in property markets across the world, including the UK, France and Germany, and her expertise spans various asset classes and mixed-use assets, including residential, retail, office and logistics, Hammerson said.

“She has an excellent track record in international real estate investment, building high-quality teams, developing strategic partnerships, execution and delivering results,” said Hammerson board chair Robert Noel.

London-based Hammerson and other JSE-listed but UK-focused landlords, including Capital & Counties, Capital & Regional and Intu Properties, have been under pressure after Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016. This has dented business confidence and the perceived values of commercial property in the UK, with Covid-19 dealing a further blow in 2020.

Hammerson’s share has fallen by about a third so far in 2020, and it has lost about two thirds of its value over the past five years.


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