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SA REIT Association appoints first CEO

Joanne Solomon, newly appointed CEO of the SA REIT Association.
Joanne Solomon, newly appointed CEO of the SA REIT Association.

With her wealth of financial and property sector experience, Joanne Solomon has been appointed as the first CEO of the SA REIT Association.

The SA REIT Association represents South Africa’s publicly traded REIT sector with its members comprising all 30-plus listed South African REITs with a market capitalisation of some R300 billion. Through their property assets and responsible investment in South Africa’s built environment, the active businesses of the South African REIT sector have a meaningful influence on our economy and the quality of people’s lives.

Joanne is an experienced marketer having spent more than twenty years in a progression of senior and executive roles. Prior to joining SA REIT, Solomon held the position of Head of Brand and Client Insights at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (NCIB), and before this she served as the Head of Marketing for Nedbank Corporate Property Finance. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Stellenbosch and has attended the Harvard Business School Strategic Marketing Management Programme.

Estienne de Klerk, Chairman of the SA REIT Association, says, “We are pleased to welcome Joanne as CEO of SA REIT. Her unique experience in the property industry and financial sector makes Joanne the perfect fit for the new role, which will add significant value to the association and its members as well as the broader property sector, investment community and all stakeholders.”

The SA REIT Association was launched in 2013 when the SA REIT structure was introduced to South Africa. As the unified voice of listed REITs, the association plays a critical role for the sector by providing advocacy in matters of common concern, preparing opinion and policy for interacting with stakeholders, representing the industry in meeting challenges within the sector, and boosting awareness of REITs as a unique asset class that creates and preserves wealth.

For the past eight years, SA REIT has been driven by volunteer leadership alone. However, with its growing responsibilities and activities, it became appropriate to appoint an executive representative for the association. The appointment of Joanne as CEO is effective from 1 May 2020.

In this new role, Joanne will implement SA REIT’s strategies and drive key sector initiatives for its members. She will also continue building positive partnerships that ensure SA REIT remains at the forefront of good governance, innovation and international best practice.

Joanne has a long track record of voluntary industry representation having served on both the national and Gauteng regional councils of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA). She is a Past Chairperson of the Women’s Property Network and was a member of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) Congress Committee.

Joining SA REIT as CEO presented a unique and compelling opportunity that combines my passion for property and experience in the financial sector. I look forward to representing SA’s REIT sector among the broader property industry and its many different public and private sector partners in the economy and society,” concludes Solomon.