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Avison Young Taps Public Markets for New CFO

Toronto-Based Firm Bringing in Christine Battist from Silver Bay Realty, Basing Her Out of Chicago
January 17, 2018
Toronto-based Avison Young has reached into the public markets to tap its new chief financial officer, Christine Battist, who was most recently CFO at Silver Bay Realty Trust.

Battist, who will work out of the global firm's Chicago office, is being brought in as a principal of the firm after 25 years of financial management experience that includes her time at public REITs Silver Bay (NYSE: SBY), a Plymouth, MN-based single-family rental property investor, and Two Harbors Investment Corp. (NYSE: TWO) out of New York City.

In May, 2017, Toronto-based Tricon Capital Group Inc. bought Silver Bay for $1.4 billion, combining it with Tricon American Homes, a leader in the burgeoning single-family rental industry. Battist had been part of Silver Bay’s team in 2014 when it internalized its management structure.

"It's a great opportunity to be involved in helping the company. I'll be leading a lot of strategic initiatives that will propel the company's growth. (Avison Young) has been on a terrific growth trajectory,” Battist told CoStar News, in an interview. "We are the world's fastest growing real estate company."

Mark Rose, chair and chief executive of Avison Young, lauded Battist's public market experience, in making the announcement. "Christine is a finance thought leader with a proven track record and keen understanding of the levers that propel shareholder value. She has confidently navigated companies through exponential growth," he said, in a statement.

Rose said Battist would manage the financing of the real estate company's growth and relationships with investors and financing sources, and be responsible for the financial aspects of corporate development decisions regarding acquisitions, divestitures and other related transactions.

Battist succeeds Gary Hubbard, who intends to retire later this year after a 37-year career as a financial executive.

Battist says growth will come from Avison Young continuing to gain market share. "We are a full service real estate company. There is a wide breadth of things we can do and we continue to prove that we have a high growth trajectory in doing the right things for our customers,” said Battist. "I have larger company experience and I can bring that with me to help the company.”

The appointment comes less than one week after Avison Young hired Chris Lydon and Chris Tecu as principals in the firm's Rosemont, IL office.

Garry Marr, Toronto Market Reporter  CoStar Group   

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