Avison Young has acquired Edmonton-based Veritas Management Services. Founded in 2009 by Tarek Merhej, Veritas is a commercial real estate management company specializing in property management, acquisition due diligence and consulting.
Merhej is now a principal at Avison Young and will play a leading role in managing the company’s day-to-day property management operations in Edmonton and expanding services throughout Northern Alberta, the company says.
Merhej brings 11 years of commercial property management experience to Avison Young, most recently as president of Veritas. Also joining Avison Young from Veritas are: Nova Rocha, general manager; Louise Leclerc, Katarina Bednarcuk and Tyler Rudyk, property accountants; Larson Smith, business analyst; Linda Fordham, executive assistant; Gannat Rakha, service co-ordinator; and Mark Royer, building operations manager.
As a result of the acquisition, Avison Young adds 65 office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties totaling more than two million square feet (msf) under management. The addition of Veritas’ property management portfolio brings Avison Young’s total square footage under management to more than 4.5 msf in Alberta and to more than 18 msf in Canada, the company says.
“New projects are constantly being contemplated and developed in the dynamic Alberta Capital Region and throughout Northern Alberta as the local economy continues to show signs of improvement,” says Mark E. Rose, chair and CEO of Avison Young. “This dynamism has created greater demand for Edmonton-based property management and construction management services that can be aligned with a full-service platform like ours.”
Prior to founding Veritas, Merhej served as vice-president of Karst Properties, a family-owned development and property management company based in Edmonton.
The acquisition follows Avison Young’s announcement on July 16 that institutional fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has made a $250-million preferred equity investment to accelerate Avison Young’s strategic growth plan. Avison Young made its first investment under its strategic partnership with CDPQ by acquiring U.K. firm Wilkinson Williams LLP and opening a new office in London’s West End on Aug. 1. On Oct. 10, the company opened its first office in Asia, in Seoul, South Korea, with 63 members joining from Mate Plus Advisors Co. Ltd.