Shopping Centers Today

SEP 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 49 of 59

50 S C T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 E X E C U T I V E S O N T H E M OV E N E W S M A K E R S W hen Luca Maganuco looks at Central Europe, he sees enthusiastic shoppers, a comparative scarcity of modern retail space and a powerful transaction market. And he also feels a bit of déjà vu. "To some extent, it looks like Italy years ago," said Maganuco, who started off his property-management career in Italy 16 years ago. The 45-year-old economist has now been appointed managing director for the Central and Eastern Europe division of Multi Corp., one of the Continent's largest shopping center management firms, and this new opportunity reminds him of what he saw back then. While still a student at the Univer- sity of Parma, Maganuco took on a short-term consulting project for a development company. His assign- ment: to lay the foundation for Italy's first dedicated property-management firm. As he began the formalities of setting up the enterprise, something unexpected happened. "e idea was just to help them, but once I under- stood the details of the business, I began falling in love with it," Maganu- co said. What interested him was the challenge that retail presented. "Retail is dynamic; retail is not 'stable' — you need to continually adapt the content and the shape of the scheme under management according to the market needs and market structure." Ultimately, Maganuco applied for employment at Agorà — as the firm he had helped organize during his student days came to be named. He served first as marketing director, then he moved over to leasing, and in short order he became leasing direc- tor. Over the next four years, his team opened a dozen centers, including Turin's first integrated urban center. By the time the firm was sold to a pri- vate equity group, six years on, Agorà owned 22 centers throughout Italy. Maganuco then moved on to asset-management roles that included stints at ING Real Estate and CBRE Global Investors. In 2015, while at CBRE, he got a call from e Black- stone Group, the private equity giant that had bought Multi Corp. roughly two years before. As it happened, Blackstone needed someone who could turn underperforming retail assets around quickly and boost their value in Italy, and they had heard of Maganuco's work at Agorà. Four years aer this, he received yet another summons, this time asking him to shoulder man- agement of Multi Corp.'s Central and East European business — including the company's 13-center portfolio in Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Keeping up with the two jobs has required Maganuco to divide his workweek between Milan and Warsaw, Poland. Home, meanwhile, continues to be near Lake Como, north of Milan. Some might wonder why an asset manager with experience in Italy would be asked to assume responsi- bilities in the CEE region. Multi Corp. CEO Josip Kardun touts Maganuco's "vast experience and expertise, both on the [redevelopment] side and on the operational side of the shopping center sector." But Maganuco himself boils it down to those swi-turnaround skills Multi's new man in Central Europe is taking on the Continent's most vibrant retail market By Bennett Voyles Turnaround artist Luca Maganuco

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