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Brookfield Financial loses second top retirement-home banker in six months

People walk to Brookfield Place off Bay Street in Toronto on May 7, 2014. The departures of Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Kalil leave Brookfield Financial without the same depth of expertise in retirement care and senior-living properties

Mark Blinch/Reuters

Brookfield Financial has lost another retirement-home banker, the second departure in less than six months.

Owen Cartwright's exit from Brookfield Financial comes after the November departure of Greg Kalil, one of the investment bank's rainmakers and well-known seniors' living and retirement-care expert.

Both Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Kalil had worked on the $1-billion-plus sale of a B.C. retirement chain, Retirement Concepts, to China's Anbang Insurance Group.

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Since the deal closed last year, the Chinese government has seized Anbang and ousted its chairman in an attempt to crack down on corruption.

The future of Anbang's assets is now up in the air. The Chinese insurer owns property in multiple countries, including the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York and a large office complex in Vancouver.

The departures of Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Kalil leave Brookfield Financial without the same depth of expertise in retirement care and senior-living properties, a notoriously complicated type of real estate to value.

It is not known whether the Chinese government will sell any of Anbang's Canadian assets. Beijing has been trying to stop capital from leaving the country and over the summer restricted big foreign real estate acquisitions. According to the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission's website, the government will be in charge of Anbang until Feb. 22, 2019, and will maintain regular operation of the company.

The regulator also said "all or part of Anbang's businesses, assets and debts/liabilities will be divested," according to a translation from the University of Alberta's China Institute, which tracks all Chinese investment in Canada. After news of Anbang's nationalization became public in late February, there have been some calls for Ottawa and the B.C. government to re-examine the deal. About one year ago, the federal government gave Anbang the approval to buy Retirement Concepts.

Mr. Cartwright, who used to serve as Brookfield's vice-president of health-care investment banking, started working for a senior-living company this month.

Revera, which owns, operates and invests in senior-living properties in Canada, the United States and Britain, said it has retained Mr. Cartwright as a consultant, effective March 5. "The company will use his skill set as we continue to grow our business," a spokesman for Revera said in an e-mail.

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Mr. Kalil left Brookfield Financial to start his own investment firm called Stormont Partners. Mr. Kalil said he wanted to do something on his own. "We built a strong team while at Brookfield and despite me leaving, a strong team remains," he said. Mr. Kalil declined to comment on Anbang and Retirement Concepts.

Calls and e-mails to Brookfield Financial seeking comment were not immediately returned.

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