File picture: James White

JOHANNESBURG  - JSE-listed intu properties [sic], the largest owner and manager of prime shopping centres in the United Kingdom, on Thursday said chief financial officer Matthew Roberts had been appointed chief executive with effect from 29 April.

Roberts will succeed David Fischel who will be standing down from the real estate investment trust company's board and leaving intu on 26 April. 

Fischel has been with the group since 1985 and chief executive since 2001, playing a major role in intu becoming the owner, developer and manager of large scale regional shopping centres with £9 billion of assets in the UK.

intu said the board had appointed Roberts following a rigorous search process which included a number of first-class internal and external candidates. 

"Having been chief financial officer of Intu since May 2010, Matthew has excellent real estate and retail experience and detailed knowledge of intu's affairs," it said.

"He is therefore well placed to drive the group's winning destinations strategy which includes adapting fast to the changing retail environment, delivering strong underlying individual centre performance and making smart use of capital." 

intu said a formal process to recruit a new chief financial officer would commence imminently and would include external and internal candidates. In the meantime, the position will be filled on a temporary basis from intu's finance team under Roberts' supervision.

- African News Agency (ANA)