Vicinity Centres elects new chairman

Trevor Gerber has been elected the next chairman of Vicinity Centres, after it was announced current-chairman Peter Kahan would not be returning to the role when he returns from a leave of absence. 

Gerber has been a non-executive director of the business since 2015, and is a member of Vicinity’s audit committee and remuneration and human resources committee, and served as acting chairman of that committee during Kahan’s leave.

“I am honored to be elected as Vicinity’s next chairman, and look forward to work with my fellow directors and the management team to deliver on our strategy and long-term value creation for my securityholders,” Gerber said.

Kahan took time off to undergo surgery, and decided not to return to the chairman role in order to focus on his health, though will return as a non-executive director.

Acting chairman Peter Hay, who recently announced that he would retire from the board at the conclusion of the 2019 annual general meeting, stated that while the board is excited to welcome Kahan back to the business, it understands his decision.

“Peter’s decision also reflects his desire to ensure clarity for stakeholders as to Vinicity’s stewardship,” Hay said. 

“Our board possesses significant depth of experience which has positioned us to elect someone as well-credentialed as Trevor Gerber as Vinicity’s next chairman. Trevor is a highly accomplished listed company director and chairman, and has demonstrated strong leadership and judgement.”

Trevor Gerber. Source: Vicinity.com.au

The property group recently posted a 72 per cent decrease in full-year profit to $346.1 million, though noted economic stimulus including lower interest rates and income tax cuts may benefit retail spending moving forward. 

While Vicinity pointed to a challenging retail environment in FY20, Hay said Vicinity was focusing on more on-site focused retailers in order to combat the threat of online competition. 

“Online retail is a growing segment of the industry which can compete with physical retail on convenience and/or price, but often not on experience, customer engagement, or on the cost and ease of returning products when they are not quite right,” Hay said. 

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