Cofinimmo Chief Fautre Resigns to Head Ageas Real-Estate Unit
Cofinimmo SA (COFB) Chief Executive Officer Serge Fautre, who spearheaded a shift at Belgium’s biggest real-estate investment fund away from offices, resigned to head AG Real Estate, a unit of Belgian insurer Ageas. (AGS)
Fautre, 51, took over as CEO of Cofinimmo in 2002 and starting in 2005 led the fund’s diversification drive. Fautre began acquiring nursing homes and participating in public- private partnerships such as prisons and fire stations to reduce Cofinimmo’s dependence on the Belgian office market.
In 2007, Fautre bought most of InBev NV’s Belgian and Dutch pubs. At the end of last year, offices represented 49 percent of its real estate and more than one-fifth of the company’s investments are outside Belgium, with 16 percent in France.
“At this stage, it is difficult to bank on Cofinimmo finding a CEO with similar qualities and experience,” said Jean-Marie Caucheteux, an analyst at Bank Degroof in Brussels who rates the stock “hold.” “It is difficult to measure the impact of this departure on the direction and the speed of Cofinimmo’s strategy of moving away from offices.”
Fautre will succeed Alain Devos as chief executive of AG Real Estate “in the near future,” AG said in a statement. Cofinimmo, in a separate release, said it will take “all necessary transition measures to ensure the succession as soon as possible.”
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