Atrium hires former MS exec as development chief

The European real estate firm, formerly known as Meinl European Land that targets shopping centers in Central and Eastern Europe, re-evaluates its development pipeline following the €800m investment by Citi Property Investors and Gazit-Globe.

Atrium European Real Estate, the owner, operator and developer of shopping centers in Central and Eastern Europe, has hired former Morgan Stanley Properties executive Dominique Beghin to oversee the company’s development pipeline.

Beghin’s appointment follows hot on the heels of Nils-Christian Hakert, who was hired as chief operating officer earlier this month. Beghin, who prior to Morgan Stanley was with Klépierre, the listed real estate subsidiary of BNP Paribas and the largest real estate owner in France, joins Atrium as chief development officer.

The shake-up at Atrium, formerly known as Meinl European Land, follows the €800 million ($1.2 billion) capital injection into the Vienna-listed company by Citi Property Investors and Israel-based Gazit-Globe.

In a statement today, Rachel Lavine, the new chief executive officer installed by the investors, said the firm was undergoing a re-evaluation, with Beghin reviewing Atrium’s “development pipeline.” Lavine added she would make further “senior appointments” in the future. She is expected to announce a new chief financial officer and chief technology officer soon.

New York-based CPI, the property investment arm of Citi Alternative Investments led by Roger Orf, and Gazit-Globe, finalized their investment in Meinl in August, renaming the firm to Atrium European Real Estate. Atrium has more than 160 properties across the Central and Eastern European region, with 34 properties under development and redevelopment. It also owns a land bank of 11 parcels of land with more than 1.9 million square meters of developable land.