9 May 2024

M7 Real Estate positions for growth with appointments of Sylvain Fortier and Melinda Knatchbull as Independent Non-Executive Directors

M7 Real Estate (“M7”) and Oxford Properties Group (“Oxford”), a leading global real estate investor, developer, and manager today announced the appointments of industry veterans Sylvain Fortier and Melinda Knatchbull as independent non-executive directors to the M7 board of directors.  The appointments add deep and relevant experience to the M7 board to support the firm’s growth and continued evolution of the platform as an institutional-grade pan-European supply chain focused investment manager, while further strengthening the group’s governance.

Fortier is the former Chief Investment and Innovation Officer of Ivanhoé Cambridge, bringing more than 30 years’ experience in global real estate investment and financing across numerous asset classes. During his 18-year tenure at Ivanhoé Cambridge he oversaw a global real estate portfolio of c.C$75 billion, comprising direct, indirect, portfolio company and fund positions across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Fortier has also held roles on the Board of Gecina (a public French REIT) and the Board of Otera Capital, where he served as Chair.

Knatchbull has over 25 years’ financial and operational experience within the real estate investment management sector. She is currently Chief Financial Officer at Sellar, having previously spent over a decade at Schroders, including eight as Chief Operating Officer, Real Estate, where her role included Chair of the organisation’s Real Estate Operating, Real Estate Investment Risk, and Real Estate Valuation Committees, as well as being a member of the global Investment Committee. Knatchbull is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant England and Wales.

Fortier is also appointed Chair of the Group Board, with Knatchbull also assuming the role of Chair of the Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee of the Board. The business will continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer, David Ebbrell and the existing management team.

James Boadle, Senior Vice President, Europe at Oxford Properties, said: “M7 plays a pivotal role in Oxford’s global logistics strategy. I am delighted to welcome Sylvain and Melinda to the Board, with these significant appointments bringing decades of institutional real estate investment experience to support the platform’s strategic growth ambitions and further strengthen M7’s Board. The acquisition of M7 has given us the additional reach and on-the-ground presence to aggregate a market-leading pan-European logistics, industrial and retail warehouse portfolio deploying capital at scale in a high-conviction sector for Oxford and capitalise on strong occupier demand. We look forward to working alongside Sylvain and Melinda as we continue to deploy Oxford’s capital through the platform and support M7 in attracting institutional capital.”

David Ebbrell, Chief Executive of M7 Real Estate, added: “Over the past 12 months we have refocused our business entirely on our key conviction sectors of European industrial, logistics and retail warehouses, while driving strong demand led rental growth across our portfolio. This streamlined focus gives us a clear and compelling offering for capital partners. Together with Oxford, we have strong ambitions to continue to grow M7’s market leading platform by bringing new capital partners to our business as we continue to source high quality investment opportunities within our chosen asset classes. The appointment of directors of the calibre of Sylvain and Melinda to our Board underlines that ambition and is a testament to what we have achieved at M7 to date. I very much look forward to working with them.”

In 2021 Oxford acquired M7 to help accelerate its ambitions to build a European logistics portfolio of scale. Oxford has since deployed over €1.8 billion of capital through the M7 platform and logistics now represents the largest allocation of Oxford’s capital as the firm continues to build, buy and invest in the physical infrastructure that serves the expanding digital economy. Since acquisition, M7’s assets under management have grown from around €4 billion to approximately €5.6 billion, with the firm placing an increased focus on targeting institutional capital.