Former Gandel Group chief executive Peter Kahan has been appointed chairman of ASX-listed retail asset manager Vicinity Centres.
Kahan will take the helm from incumbent chairman Peter Hay from August. Hay announced his retirement in an ASX announcement on Wednesday.
Kahan, a non-executive director at Vicinity, has been at the Gandel Group for 25 years. Gandel Group is a major Vicinity shareholder and co-owns Australia’s most profitable mall, Melbourne’s Chadstone, with Vicinity.
Kahan told the Sydney Morning Herald that he looked forward to focusing on the next phase at a “time of challenge” for the retail sector.
“Retail is not a one-size fits all business anymore. We do have a targeted strategy, led by [chief executive Grant] Kelley, of working with the best assets, which are unique assets.”
Hay’s retirement is the third high-level management change for Vicinity this year, after chief financial officer Michael O’Brien moved to funds giant QIC in February and Peter Huddle came on as Vicinity’s first chief operating officer.
The move comes as deteriorating retail conditions create headaches for Australia’s mall owners.
In its Global REIT Radar report, JP Morgan analysts identified Vicinity, along with construction giant Lendlease, as “event driven stocks” and warned they could become takeover targets.
In February, Vicinity devalued its $15.8 billion portfolio for the first time since it listed in 2011.
Vicinity shares closed up 2.2 per cent to $2.56 on Wednesday.