Ivanhoé hires LaSalle exec to head Europe operations

The change comes weeks after the Canadian investor named a global president and a head of business units.

Ivanhoé Cambridge has hired Karim Habra, LaSalle Investment Management’s former head of continental Europe, according to a Tuesday statement.

The Canadian investor has tapped him to lead its European operations after president Méka Brunel left in January to lead Gecina, a Paris-based real estate investment trust. She had worked for the firm since 2009.

Habra will join Ivanhoé in early summer after spending six years at LaSalle. He started as managing director in Central and Eastern European operations, then became managing director for France in February 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. In November, Habra was named president of continental Europe. He previously worked at private equity real estate firm JER Partners and now-defunct GE Capital Real Estate.

LaSalle will replace Habra in the coming months, PERE understands.

Spokespeople for Ivanhoé and LaSalle declined to comment.

Habra’s move comes amid a number of leadership changes for the real estate subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. In September, global president Bill Tresham transitioned from that role into a strategic advisory position. At the time, a firm spokesman said his role would not be replaced.

Last month, however, Ivanhoé named Nathalie Palladitcheff as global president and Alfonso Graceffa as head of business units, a newly created role. Both report to Daniel Fournier, Ivanhoé’s chairman and chief executive.

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

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