Ivanhoé Cambridge’s new double act: who does what

Six months after the firm’s president transitioned to a strategic advisory role, the real estate subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has named a new president and new head of business units.

Ivanhoé Cambridge has tapped two executives for promotions, the real estate subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec said Tuesday.

The firm has been operating without a president since Bill Tresham transitioned from that role into a strategic advisory position in September. At the time, Ivanhoé Cambridge said his role was not being replaced. Instead, the five presidents of its business units – Sylvain Fortier, head of residential, hotels and real estate investment funds; Rita-Rose Gagné, head of growth markets; Arthur Lloyd, head of the North America office; Claude Sirois, head of retail; and a still-to-be named new head of Europe – would report to Daniel Fournier, Ivanhoé Cambridge’s chairman and chief executive.

Now, Ivanhoé Cambridge has appointed Nathalie Palladitcheff as president and Alfonso Graceffa as head of business units, a newly-created role. Both Palladitcheff and Graceffa will report to Fournier.

The two roles are complementary: as president, Palladitcheff will be responsible for ensuring Ivanhoé Cambridge’s global investing strategy is aligned with its growth and performance targets, and consequently will assist the company’s business units with sourcing and analyzing opportunities. She joined in April 2015 as chief financial officer, where she was responsible for information technology and human resources, in addition to finances and strategic planning. Before Ivanhoé Cambridge, Palladitcheff held a number of executive roles, including interim chief executive, at Icade, a Paris-based real estate investment trust.

Alfonso Graccefa

Graceffa, meanwhile, will be in charge of the firm’s business units and help to define and execute the investment strategies of those businesses. Additionally, he will develop and manage Ivanhoé Cambridge’s partnerships and also oversee the company’s operations and investment processes. He will remain chief executive of Otéra Capital, the pension’s real estate debt subsidiary that he joined in 2008 as vice president of construction loans and workouts. Previously, Graceffa led the commercial real estate loans team at the National Bank of Canada.

“Nathalie has made a significant contribution to the transformation of Ivanhoé Cambridge,” Fournier said in a statement. “As president of Otéra Capital since 2012, Alfonso was instrumental in delivering strong results year after year, all while refocusing the company’s activities with strong governance rules and business practices. Together, they will play a strong part in developing the talent we need and in executing on the business priorities we have identified to meet the returns expected by our shareholders.”

In addition to the leadership changes, Ivanhoé Cambridge created a new business unit, North America industrial, led by Mario Morroni. He was previously the firm’s executive vice president of strategy and capital allocation. Last year, Ivanhoé Cambridge bought TPG’s industrial platform for $1 billion, PERE previously reported.

Tresham, meanwhile, is focusing on “out of the box alternatives,” he told PERE in November, particularly on larger entity-level opportunities, something he had less capacity to do managing day-to-day operations as president.

Ivanhoé Cambridge is also looking to add a chief innovation position later this year, a spokesman told PERE.

CDPQ is one of the largest global real estate investors in the world, ranking 13th in PERE’s 2017 Global Investor 50 ranking. Ivanhoé Cambridge held approximately C$60 billion ($46.5 billion; €37.5 billion) in assets as of December 31, according to its website.