Fiera Real Estate appoints new sustainability lead

Fiera Real Estate (“FRE”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica Pilz, who will be leading the firms sustainability strategy in the UK. Jessica brings over 10 years’ experience looking at ESG issues within the South African and UK commercial real estate industry and will be responsible for championing the firm’s strategies and initiatives across its core and value add funds, as well as for the organisation as a whole.

This new hire is a recognition of FRE commitment in the UK to embracing ESG principles and responsible investment and helps position the firm to effectively address shifting regulatory, environmental and societal issues.

Environmental and social issues have been at the forefront of FRE decision making throughout the coronavirus pandemic, highlighted by the recent donation of its Headley Court building to the NHS to form a COVID-19 rehabilitation centre and its longer term engagement plans to support LandAid and the fight against youth homelessness.

Before joining FRE, Jessica started her career in 2010 at the Public Investment Corporation Real Estate Asset Managers (PICREAM) in South Africa managing a portfolio of retail assets located in underserviced townships. She then joined MSCI, where she led their global sustainability benchmarking initiatives for real estate. In 2014, she joined GVA (now Avison Young) as an Associate Director within their Sustainability Consultancy team. Jessica later moved to the Commercial Real Estate Credit team at Royal Bank of Scotland (now NatWest Group) where she was responsible for setting up processes to take into account environmental and sustainability risks when assessing commercial lending propositions.

Alex Price, UK CEO of FRE commented, “Fiera Real Estate has always put community and sustainability at the heart of what we do across the UK.  With our ongoing growth, we felt now was the right time to have a dedicated resource so we can ensure this area continues to be at the centre of both our culture and our investment activities”

Jessica has looked at ESG issues within real estate from many different perspectives throughout her career – from asset management, to benchmarking, to consultancy, to lending. This has given her extensive experience and places her well to drive the firms ESG strategy going forward.