Multi-residential property specialist Drew Koivu joins Avison Young

Industry leader becomes Principal and Managing Director of U.S. Apartment Fund

TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Mark Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, announced today that leading multi-residential real estate executive Drew Koivu has been appointed to lead Avison Young's new U.S. Apartment Fund.

Effective immediately, Koivu joins Avison Young as a Principal and Managing Director of Avison Young's U.S. Apartment Fund. Based in Avison Young's Toronto office, Koivu will team with Amy Erixon, Avison Young Principal and architect of the U.S. Apartment Fund strategy. Koivu will manage U.S. Apartment Fund transactions, oversee the fund's day-to-day operations and assist investors with their multi-residential property acquisitions and dispositions. He will also serve as a member of the firm's National Apartment Team, collaborating with colleagues and clients on multi-residential property transactions across North America.

The Avison Young U.S. Apartment Fund acquires very high-quality apartment communities at a significant discount to replacement cost in secondary U.S. cities, primarily located in the Southeast U.S. The Fund targets locations with diversified economies that are experiencing high-quality job growth, and it looks to avoid locations with disproportionate single-family foreclosure issues. Through active management and the use of non-recourse, assumable fixed-rate debt, the Fund focuses on appreciation and positive cash flow as markets improve.

"Avison Young strives to provide best-in-class services to clients in each commercial real estate asset class. Drew's appointment will enable us to provide the highest quality of service to multi-residential property investors," comments Rose. "Drew is an industry leader whose apartment expertise will be a tremendous asset to Avison Young as we continue to expand our cross-border services. Canadian investors are becoming increasingly active in the U.S. multi-residential market, which involves highly specialized investments."

Rose continues: "Drew's knowledge and expertise in this unique sector will be extremely beneficial to our clients and our company going forward. His appointment also ties in well with our aggressive U.S. expansion strategy."

Koivu has more than 20 years of multi-residential real estate experience. Most recently, he served as Director of Real Estate for BMO Capital Markets Real Estate Group in Toronto, where he was responsible for public and private financings, mergers and acquisitions, and brokerage sales for all of the major multi-residential REITs and pension funds in Canada.

In the first quarter of 2013, Koivu played an instrumental role in the initial public offering of Milestone Apartment REIT. Milestone, which focuses solely on the U.S. multi-residential sector, is the largest IPO ever on the TSX of a REIT focused exclusively on U.S.-based real estate. The REIT's portfolio consists of 53 garden-style, multi-residential properties containing 17,290 units in 10 major metropolitan markets throughout the U.S. Southeast and Southwest. 

Prior to joining BMO Capital Markets Real Estate Group, Koivu was a Vice-President with Cushman & Wakefield LePage, managing the firm's apartment group, and was previously at CB Richard Ellis. During his career, he has been responsible for more than $1.5 billion worth of investment sales. Before entering the commercial real estate industry, Koivu was a systems engineer with IBM Canada Ltd. He has been personally investing in multi-residential properties in Canada and the U.S. for the past 20 years.

Koivu holds a Master of Business Administration, specializing in real property, from the Schulich School of Business at York University and an engineering degree from the University of Toronto, where he was a member of the Dean's List. He has also completed several real estate-related professional development courses. Koivu has spoken at many Canadian real estate conferences, including the annual Real Estate Forum, the Canadian Apartment Investment Conference, and Queen's Real Estate Round Table (Q25). In 2011, Koivu was selected to co-chair the Canadian Apartment Investment Conference.

"I am thrilled to be joining Avison Young during the largest expansion program in its history," says Koivu. "An opportunity to have an ownership stake in the company and be part of its Principal-led culture greatly appeals to me. I am looking forward to assisting investors as the multi-residential real estate market capitalizes on the ongoing U.S. economic recovery. I am also looking forward to working with my Avison Young colleagues throughout Canada and the U.S."

Over the past four years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 50 offices and from 300 to more than 1,300 real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S.

Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,300 real estate professionals in 50 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

• Editors/Reporters: please click on link to view and download photo of Drew Koivu
http://www.avisonyoung.com/sites/default/files/content-files/Media_Room/Temp/Drew_Koivu.jpg

For further information/comment/photos:

Sherry Quan, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647.5098; mobile: 604.726.0959

Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028

Drew Koivu, Principal, Avison Young: 416.673.4057

www.avisonyoung.com

Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and requalified in 2012 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

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SOURCE Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)



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