- Edward Sonshine, O. Ont., Q.C. to transition from Chief Executive Officer to Non-Executive Chairman on April 1, 2021;
- Jonathan Gitlin to be appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer
TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (“RioCan” or the “Trust”) (TSX: REI.UN) today confirmed that, as previously announced, RioCan’s founder, Edward Sonshine, O. Ont., Q.C., will retire as Chief Executive Officer of the Trust on March 31, 2021. Mr. Sonshine will become Non-Executive Chairman of RioCan’s Board of Trustees (the “Board”) effective April 1, 2021. Mr. Paul V. Godfrey, C.M., Chairman of the Board, has agreed to step down as Chairman of the Board effective April 1, 2021 and will serve as Lead Trustee.
RioCan is pleased to announce that the Board appoints Jonathan Gitlin, currently the Trust’s President and Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Mr. Sonshine as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1, 2021. Effective April 1, 2021, concurrently with Mr. Gitlin’s appointment to the role of CEO, the Board has also agreed to appoint Mr. Gitlin as an additional Trustee to the Board.
“The Board is very pleased to announce both Jonathan Gitlin as Mr. Sonshine’s successor as CEO, and Mr. Sonshine’s continued involvement in the leadership of the Trust following his retirement,” said Paul V. Godfrey, C.M., Chairman of the Board. “Given Mr. Gitlin’s long and successful history at RioCan, currently as President and Chief Operating Officer, and Mr. Sonshine’s continued involvement as Non-Executive Chairman, the Board is confident that we will have a seamless transition of leadership in 2021.”
Mr. Gitlin joined RioCan in 2005 and progressed through a series of key leadership roles leading to his appointment as President and Chief Operating Officer in March 2019. Mr. Gitlin is an accomplished, strategic leader, and as the head of the Trust’s Investment team since 2007, he has played a significant role in RioCan’s tremendous growth, including responsibility for the execution of the Trust’s residential program, RioCan LivingTM. In addition, as part of RioCan’s accelerated major market strategy, Mr. Gitlin drove RioCan’s secondary market disposition program, resulting in the Trust now generating 90% of its revenue from major markets, and 50% from the Greater Toronto Area. Mr. Gitlin’s broad experience and industry acumen has allowed him to effectively, efficiently and responsibly lead RioCan’s Operations team through the current global pandemic and its myriad of economic implications. Consistent with RioCan’s long-standing principles, Mr. Gitlin has mobilized the RioCan team to address changing market dynamics in a manner that prioritizes the long-term wellbeing of the business, and all its stakeholders.
“I am pleased to have confirmed the arrangements for my succession in 2021, which we first announced last year and have now finalized,” said Mr. Sonshine. “During my remaining time as Chief Executive Officer, I will focus on overseeing continued execution of RioCan’s strategy and major initiatives as well as preparing for an orderly transition of my duties. I would like to congratulate Jonathan Gitlin for this well-deserved promotion to RioCan’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Jonathan’s integrity, decisiveness, credibility and unwavering focus on sustainable growth make him the ideally suited to lead the Trust. I have great confidence in Jonathan and I look forward to working with him as Non-Executive Chairman as we overcome the current industry challenges and capitalize on evolving opportunities to position RioCan for the next phase of its growth and success.”
RioCan is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts. RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused, increasingly mixed-use properties located in prime, high-density transit-oriented areas where Canadians want to shop, live and work. As at June 30, 2020, our portfolio is comprised of 221 properties with an aggregate net leasable area of approximately 38.6 million square feet (at RioCan’s interest) including office, residential rental and 15 development properties. To learn more about us, please visit www.riocan.com.
Forward Looking Information
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. This information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning RioCan’s objectives, its strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to management’s beliefs, plans, estimates, and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “would”, “expect”, “ intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Such forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking information in this News Release is qualified by these cautionary statements.
Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future events or performance and, by its nature, is based on RioCan’s current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including that the events contemplated herein are completed as contemplated, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this News Release. Although the forward looking information contained in this News Release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forwarding-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, RioCan undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For further information contact:
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
SVP and Chief Financial Officer
Italy Keeps Investment Grade Rating by Fitch Amid Pandemic – BNN
(Bloomberg) — Italy’s credit grade was left unchanged for now by Fitch Ratings, which said the rating is supported by factors including a diversified and high value-added economy, even amid the “significant impact” of the pandemic.
The BBB- rating is just one notch above junk, though Fitch’s stable outlook means there’s no immediate risk of a downgrade. The country’s financial position has been severely weakened by the cost of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The economy will start to recover next year, based on the assumption that lock-down measures will be gradually lifted and a vaccination program will start in the first quarter, but annual growth figures will be still heavily influenced by base effects, Fitch said in a statement Friday.
Italy started 2020 already encumbered with a significant debt load, a situation made worse because of the virus and the various shutdowns needed to contain the disease.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government has tried to shield the country’s fragile economy with over 100 billion euros ($121.4 billion) in stimulus spending so far. That’s pushed debt close to 160% of output. The government’s worst-case scenario sees gross domestic product falling 10.5% this year and rising only 1.8% in 2021.
Fitch forecasts a deficit of 8% of GDP in 2021 and 6.6% of GDP in 2022, the ratings company said Friday.
Despite the dire fiscal position, Italy’s sovereign borrowing costs have fallen this year. Its 10-year yields are near a record low thanks largely to the European Central Bank’s huge bond-buying effort. That stimulus program may get expanded again next week, providing more space for governments with stretched finances.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Vegan Investment Fund Goes Public in Canada – VegNews
Vancouver-based Eat Beyond Global Holdings—the first investment issuer in Canada focused on the global plant-based and alternative food sector—recently began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the symbol “EATS.” Eat Beyond identifies and makes equity investments in global companies in the sector, which includes plant-based proteins, fermented proteins, cultured proteins, food technology, and consumer packaged goods as well as cellular agriculture and other experimental projects.
“We created Eat Beyond to make it easy to invest in the future of food and provide retail investors with access to the very best companies in the sector,” Patrick Morris, CEO of Eat Beyond, said. “The space has seen enormous interest from the market for brands such as Beyond Meat, but that was really just the tip of the iceberg. The diverse range of innovation taking place in this sector is staggering.”
Investing in the future of food
Eat Beyond aims to provide retail investors with the opportunity to invest in the growth of innovative plant-based and alternative food companies. Its current portfolio includes The Very Good Food Company (parent company of The Very Good Butchers), Eat JUST Inc. (the maker of JUST Egg), TurtleTree Pte. Ltd. (a cell-based food tech company focused on disrupting the global dairy industry), Nabati Foods Inc. (maker of vegan chocolate, desserts, and cheese), SingCell Tx Pte Ltd (a clean meat manufacturing platform in Singapore), Good Natured (a producer of eco-friendly, plant-based food packaging), and Greenspace Brands Inc. (owner of the Love Child brand).
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Why Bitcoin Is the Best Investment Opportunity Post-Pandemic. Here’s What Will Drive the Price Higher. – Barron's
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution,
Palo Alto, Calif.
Niall Ferguson, 56, is one of the world’s leading historians, a prolific author, and creator of the TV series The Ascent of Money, which won an International Emmy award. His new book, DOOM: The Politics of Catastrophe, will be published next spring. He is also working on the second volume of his biography of Henry Kissinger. Born in Scotland, Ferguson is now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and founder of Greenmantle, a macroeconomic and geopolitical advisory firm.
Barron’s: What will be the best investment opportunity coming out of the pandemic?
Niall Ferguson: I’m going to go with Bitcoin. It has had a stellar year, up 165% year to date. [It’s now above $19,000.] If, at the beginning of the year, you had said, “The pandemic is coming. It’s going to be very disruptive. Should I choose gold or Bitcoin?” you would have been right to choose Bitcoin because gold is only up 21%. So Bitcoin returns have been an order of magnitude higher.
Why has that happened?
In a pandemic, financial history can be accelerated. We’ve seen that in just the same way that the use of coins as money was accelerated by the Black Death. Payments in kind were yielding to a cash economy in Europe, and this was accelerated in the 1340s. The acceptance of Bitcoin as a digital asset, a quasi-digital gold, has been accelerated by this pandemic. Almost every month, some major figure in the mainstream investment world has said, “OK, now I’ll take Bitcoin seriously.” This process of institutional adoption has further to run.
Many remain cautious or outright bearish on Bitcoin.
You could argue, if you were a skeptic like my old friend Nouriel Roubini, that this is just another bubble. But the adoption of a new financial technology tends to be quite volatile, and each time Bitcoin rallies and then folds, it folds to a higher level than the time before. So you could probably take a little bit of downside risk, but hold Bitcoin for a year to five years and feel pretty good about it.
What might drive Bitcoin higher?
In a new edition of my book, The Ascent of Money, two years ago, I observed that if all the millionaires in the world collectively decided to hold 0.2% of their assets in Bitcoin, the Bitcoin price would be $15,000, which it reached this year. If it was 1%, then the price would be $75,000 per Bitcoin. So, as people adopt this as a new form of asset that has a respectable place in a diversified portfolio, there is still quite a bit of upside.
There are about 18.5 million Bitcoins outstanding, and the total amount is capped at 21 million. That values Bitcoin at $350 billion now, versus about $10 trillion for all the world’s gold. What makes Bitcoin distinctive?
Bitcoin is the only digital asset or token that has scarcity built in. Everything in the internet is defined by a superabundance; Bitcoin is the exception.
[ticker: PYPL] and others are allowing people to use Bitcoin to buy stuff. Will that help?
I don’t think Bitcoin is for buying things at
It’s a peculiar form of asset, and isn’t highly correlated to other assets. A friend told me to think of Bitcoin as an option on digital gold. I like that formulation, because it has behaved kind of like that. So, I don’t think PayPal is the cure. It is more that, if every millionaire is adding a little bit of Bitcoin, that has a lot of power to bid the price up.
How hard is it to buy and hold Bitcoin?
It’s getting easier. Coinbase, for instance, has made it very easy to trade cryptocurrencies, but quite expensive each time you transact. That will change over time. That again is typical of an early stage of a financial innovation.
What are some key policy issues the U.S. will face in a post-Covid world?
On foreign policy, China is the big issue. The Biden administration can’t simply turn the clock back to 2016 and revert to the late Obama years when the U.S. essentially acquiesced to China’s rise. That is the main challenge for Biden, whose instincts are not especially hawkish on China. But his foreign-policy team will be telling him to stay tough, because public sentiment has changed.
Also, the pandemic revealed that our bureaucracy generally has become sclerotic. You can blame the poor response to Covid on President Trump if you like, but it wasn’t all his fault. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention completely screwed up testing; HHS [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] was clueless about the nature of the challenge it faced. And state governments, not least New York, did abysmally, too. So, the question I would put to Biden’s team is, if that’s how we fail at the pandemic, what other disasters could we fail at on your watch? It isn’t likely that the next disaster will be another pandemic. History never works that way. So, there is a general problem at both the federal and state level. We have dysfunctional bureaucracies, and they don’t handle crises well. This isn’t peculiar to a pandemic. Look back over the past 20 years to [Hurricane] Katrina or even 9/11.
Will fixing the problem require more money or a different approach?
It is definitely not more money. It is about the incentives within the public sector and the curious ways in which federal agencies grow larger and more bureaucratic. Other countries don’t seem to suffer to the same extent. Germany is better run than the U.S., and Taiwan is far better run than the U.S. We need to recognize that there is something wrong in the state of our government.
What can we learn from Taiwan or South Korea?
If you are a government or a country that has reason to be paranoid, whether you are Taiwan next to the People’s Republic of China or South Korea next to North Korea, you are generally anti-fragile. This is a term from Nassim Taleb [the author of The Black Swan]. You are on the lookout for trouble without necessarily putting all your eggs in one basket of preparedness. The flexibility of the Taiwanese and South Korean response tells you something about the way they are set up, with a sort of built-in insecurity. But if you are the No. 1 superpower, you can get complacent about risks. The challenge for any new administration is to try to get away from highly detailed regulatory solutions to problems, which fill pages and pages of the federal register, and instead have a more responsive, flexible attitude toward the multitude of potential crises that we face.
Where would you most like to go when the pandemic ends?
The pandemic has made big cities hazardous places, and I’ve spent most of this year in a rural backwater. So, the place I’d most want to go is London because two of my children live there and I haven’t seen them since February. Also, because I just love the idea of being in a crowded pub in London, preferably just before an Arsenal game at Emirates [the Arsenal soccer club’s home stadium in London], surrounded by fellow Arsenal fans, having a pint and not worrying when somebody coughs in my face. That’s what I am really looking forward to.
Share your thoughts on the post-pandemic world: What do you think will be the greatest investment opportunity post-Covid? What will be the most important public policy issue that the U.S. will face? Where would you most like to visit once the virus is no longer a threat to travel? Click here to share your thoughts with us.
Write to Andrew Bary at email@example.com
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