New Ivanhoé Cambridge President Talks Diversification, Leadership And Success
As Nathalie Palladitcheff steps into her new role as president of Ivanhoé Cambridge, she is focusing on diversification as a key component to the company's continued success as she looks at the inevitable market downturn.
“Prices are high, as is volatility, and there are clear signs of slowing down,” said Palladitcheff, who was appointed to her new position last week.
“There’s no question that we’ve had a great long run but it cannot last. What matters most is for us to be ready for the next phase. The key for us has and will continue to be diversification. To consistently distinguish ourselves, we will continue to do what we are already doing well — choose the best cities, with the best partners for high-quality assets.”
With 1,000 buildings and $60B in assets covering residential, office, retail and logistics real estate sectors around the world, Ivanhoé Cambridge is already pretty diversified.
Palladitcheff, who has 25 years of experience in finance and real estate, the last three as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Ivanhoé Cambridge, said logistics has become an increasing focus for the company, including its recent investments in Peel Logistics equity in the U.K.
“We took a first plunge in the logistic sector in 2012 with the acquisition of P2 in Europe, and we learned a lot,” she said.
That led to 2015’s acquisition of an equity interest in LOGOS, an integrated logistics real estate platform with an attractive portfolio of existing assets and development, she said.
“The venture was formed with the strategy of acquiring and developing high-quality modern logistics facilities in key Asia-Pacific markets, such as Shanghai, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Jakarta and in key cities of India,” she said.
Palladitcheff said retail — the company has just sold its stake in Toronto’s Fairview Mall — will remain a key component for Ivanhoé Cambridge. But it may be taking a back seat to other sectors, such as a focus on residential growth in the greater London area or logistics in Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.
“Our main orientations for the future will focus on development projects as well as logistics and the industrial sector,” she said. “We have 49 development projects in our pipeline, which represents approximately $5B.”
Palladitcheff steps into her role as president as the need for women in leadership positions is increasingly in the spotlight. Commercial real estate remains a male-oriented field, lagging behind most other industries.
Of 62 CRE companies reporting 10M SF portfolios, women made up only 22% of C-suite positions and only 17% of board members, according to a report from MediaEdge.
So what has been Palladitcheff’s secret to her success?
“I had a few mentors that helped me along the way. I worked in finance and real estate without ever thinking that being a woman was going to make it more challenging,” she said.
Her advice to women thinking of CRE as a career option is to remain individuals.
“My father always told me ‘Quand on veut, on peut’, which could probably translate into ‘When there’s a will, there’s a way’. Women shouldn’t try to mirror other women in leadership roles, nor should they try to emulate their male counterparts. They should aspire to all that they can be, while staying true to themselves."