One of the city’s leading financial executives is leaving the real estate investment trust she helped launch.
Minto Apartment REIT has announced that chief financial officer Julie Morin will be stepping down from the trust after the firm reports its third-quarter earnings in November. Morin will continue to serve as CFO of its sister company, real estate development firm Minto Group, a job she has held since May 2018.
Morin played a key role in the creation of Minto Apartment REIT four years ago. The University of Ottawa commerce grad helped engineer the $230-million initial public offering that saw the Minto Group spin off a portion of its apartment portfolio into a public investment vehicle in July 2018.
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Since then, she has helped spearhead Minto REIT’s growth into one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts. The trust now has a market capitalization of more than $500 million and owns 32 multi-residential properties in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton containing a total of nearly 8,300 apartment units.
In a statement, Minto Apartment REIT chief executive Michael Waters said Morin was “instrumental” in spearheading the company’s rise.
“The good news is that the REIT will continue to benefit from her vast experience and ongoing support through her continuing role as CFO of the Minto Group,” Waters added.
Morin, who was named the city’s 2020 CFO of the Year by OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade, will be succeeded by Edward Fu. A former senior manager at EY and Telesat, Fu has been with the Minto organization since 2014 and currently serves as vice-president of finance at the REIT and Minto Group.
“I am confident that Eddie is the right choice for the role given his relevant accounting and reporting experience, his intimate knowledge of the REIT and his strong relationships with the Ottawa-based finance and accounting teams,” Morin said in a statement.
“I’m excited to watch Eddie build on a strong foundation and take the REIT to the next stage of its growth strategy as CFO.”
The move comes as Minto Apartment REIT continues to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic, which damped demand for rental housing.
The firm generated funds from operations of $13.7 million in the quarter, compared with $11.9 million a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Minto’s overall revenue rose 18.8 per cent year-over-year to $35.5 million. The increase was driven in part by rising occupancy rates in its unfurnished suites, which ticked up to 94.7 per cent from 91.5 per cent a year earlier. Average rents in Minto’s same-property portfolio were $1,695, up 3.4 per cent from the second quarter of 2021.