Partners Real Estate Investment Trust's executive ranks are a bit leaner now that two managers are no longer with the firm.
Edward Boomer, the REIT's former chief investment officer, and Heather Routly, its former chief financial officer, were let go in a management shuffle. The decision comes just as the REIT re-tools following some major changes at its largest shareholder, which is also a close partner.
In October, League Assets Corp. – a sprawling entity that housed a private REIT as well as a real estate management operation – filed for creditor protection. Until recently, League was Partners' biggest shareholder, holding a 15 per cent stake. The two firms' staff ranks have also frequently overlapped. Just one example: League was co-founded by Adam Gant, who, until recently, served as Partners' CEO.
Patrick Miniutti, Partners' current CEO, said the changes were made because League's creditor protection filing created some manager redundancies. Some of Mr. Boomer's duties will be assumed by Peter Morris, Partners' COO. Mr. Morris also holds the position of COO at League and in the wake of League's filing, will now have much more time to devote to Partners, Mr. Miniutti said.
As for the CFO role, Mr. Miniutti argued that Partners can now rely on League's CFO, who has more public company experience than Ms. Routly, and added that Partners can also lean on a few other managers who have public company experience. "What we determined is essentially we had resources that were way more qualified [with a lot] more experience than Heather," he said.
The League executives have more time to focus on Partners because League is in the process of selling off some retail properties, according to Mr. Miniutti. "As [the properties] basically go away, they've got less responsibility on that side of the fence," he said.
Partners also announced that League sold its 15 per cent stake in the REIT to McCowan and Associates Ltd. for $27-million, amounting to roughly $7 per unit. Partners' units currently trade in the market at $6.05 each.
Earlier in November, Partners slashed its distribution by 22 per cent to 50 cents annually. The REIT said the decision offered "financial flexibility" as a special committee evaluates different strategic options.