Yew Grove executive lands top role with property trust’s Canadian buyer

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Yew Grove Reit’s chief financial officer, Charles Peach, has been tapped to take on the same role at the Canadian group, which is poised to take over the Dublin-listed real estate trust next month.

Toronto-based Slate Office Reit agreed in November to buy Yew Grove, the owner of office and industrial assets outside Dublin city centre, for €127.8 million.

Slate Office said this week that Mr Peach, one of three founding managers of Yew Grove, would replace the Canadian group’s current chief financial officer, Michael Sheehan, who is stepping down to “pursue other opportunities”. The appointment will be effective on completion of the Yew Grove takeover, expected in February.

Mr Peach had committed along with the two other top Yew Grove figures – chief executive Jonathan Laredo and chief investment officer Michael Gibbons – to remaining on board as the company’s assets are absorbed into Slate Office.

“Charles is a deeply experienced financial executive with an impressive track record of driving growth and operational excellence,” said Steve Hodgson, chief executive of Slate Office.

Three decades

Mr Peach has nearly three decades of experience in capital markets, including structuring and raising capital for companies and funds. He started his career with Bear Stearns’ financial analytics and structured transactions group in the mid-1990s before joining Nomura’s so-called exotic credit trading group in 2002.

Mr Peach joined UK corporate finance boutique Parapet Capital Advisors in 2012 and went about setting up a fund with fellow management team members Mr Laredo and Mr Gibbons, called Yew Tree Investments, to buy Irish property in the wake of the crash. They rolled an initial portfolio of 10 such properties valued at €25.9 million into the Yew Grove Reit when it floated on the stock market in June 2018.

The value of Yew Grove’s property portfolio, at €168 million at the end of June, was considerably lower than the €300 million-€500 million asset base the real estate investment trust (Reit) had been targeting within three years of its initial public offering.

The company had been struggling since its IPO to raise large amounts of capital quickly enough to pursue deals and build a business of scale, before Slate Office made an approach to buy the trust.

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