Leading developer strengthens its team in response to new business needs
GTC Hungary strengthens its team in response to business needs. Edina Magó will step up as Marketing Director, and Nikoletta Ispánki will join the company as Commercial Director. New hires reflect personnel and business changes within GTC with a strategic focus to enhance the growing markets.
Starting from July 1, 2022, Edina Magó will join GTC as Marketing Director. Edina’s duties will include coordination and management of GTC’s region wide marketing, social media, PR, and branding strategy, as well as coordination of the marketing teams in GTC’s local markets. Her job will also include tasks and processes affecting GTC’s overall image across the region.
With more than 13 years at White Star as Marketing and PR Director, Edina Magó is a seasoned expert to execute GTC’s communication goals.
Recently, the number of income-generating assets including potential development project sites owned by GTC in Hungary has increased significantly. This caused a substantial change in the structure of GTC’s portfolio and tenant mix, as well as its functions. A growth like this presents not only huge opportunities, but also challenges to the portfolio and the team.
As a response to that development, Nikoletta Ispánki joined the company as Commercial Director to help, support, oversee and manage GTC Hungary’s leasing team. Nikoletta worked for IWG (Regus, Spaces, Signature) before joining GTC and was responsible for the entire Hungarian operation, as Country Manager. Previously, she worked in the leasing field for Skanska and Cushman & Wakefield.
“Since our development activity and portfolio in Hungary has been expanding more and more dynamically, we saw a need for strengthening our team. The current wave of new hires and promotions is a response to immediate business needs and arising opportunities: we need to be resilient and stick together to navigate through a constantly changing economic environment. It is key to GTC’s success and profitability to be able to adapt to situations like this at the highest possible level and speed. Therefore, I am thrilled to welcome new members of the GTC family on board and look forward to a great many successes on our record” – commented János Gárdai,Chief Operating Officer at GTC.
GTC continues a strategic streak of enhancing the Group’s strength through internal promotions and is pleased to announce that Ziv Gigi has been promoted to Country Manager of Bulgaria and will be responsible for all operations of GTC in that market, in addition to his incumbent role as Country Manager of GTC Romania.
Ziv Gigi has more than 15 years of C-suite experience in Central and Eastern European real estate markets, developing and managing 450,000 sq m of office and retail projects through his career with GTC. Commencing in GTC in 2008 and after serving as a CFO for Bulgaria and Serbia, in 2021 Mr Gigi was nominated as Country Manager of Romania in testimony to his seasoned skills in feasibility, acquisition, project conception, financing, development and operational management of large scale real estate projects in dynamically expanding property markets. His executive financial expertise and aptitude in growth investments were conducive to his current promotion as Country Manager of Bulgaria and Romania, two fast developing EU countries with potent property markets.
“I’m excited for yet another opportunity with GTC. Bulgaria is a dynamic and promising strategic location for the company’s development and growth. I am sure that my experience with GTC to date will help me take over the role smoothly to even better support the company in growing the portfolio of brand-new projects and implementing operational excellence” – commented Ziv Gigi, Country Manager of GTC in Romania and Bulgaria.
“During his time with GTC, Ziv has proven to be an exemplary leader, going above and beyond the call of duty. His promotion to Country Manager of Bulgaria is a consequence of his exceptional performance as well as response to our business needs. We want to leverage the market momentum and do our best to grow in the Bulgarian market – portfolio and operation -wise. With Ziv leading our operations both in Romania and Bulgaria, I am confident we will be able to achieve these and other ambitious goals” – added Zoltan Fekete, GTC’s CEO.
Apart from his impressive expertise in development and asset management, Ziv Gigi is a certified public accountant (CPA) with over a decade of financial management experience specializing in capital raising and strategic planning. Before joining GTC, Ziv worked as an auditor for Ernst & Young Israel, and as a financial manager for a private developer in Hungary and Turkey.
GTC, one of the leading developers in Central and Eastern Europe, has established a partnership with WWF in Poland. With the support of WWF Poland, GTC will educate its employees as well as investors, business partners and local communities on environmental protection and encourage joint ecological activities.
What does tiger, the world’s largest cat, has in common with the brown bear, Europe’s largest land predator that lives in Poland? Both predators need support if we want the future generations to enjoy them. Due to human actions, the world’s tiger population has declined 25-fold, dropping 95% in the last 120 years. On the other hand, the brown bear was once found in almost all of Poland. Currently, the area of its occurrence is limited only to some mountain areas. But even there, concrete actions should be taken to maintain acceptance for its protection.
GTC’s ambition is to run its business in a responsible manner and contribute to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals especially Goal 15 related to sustainable land ecosystems and biodiversity. Therefore, it is also important to protect the natural environment and the wildlife living in it, including endangered species and species needing protection. The cooperation with WWF Poland – a respected environmental organization – will allow for conscious and comprehensive inclusion of this idea in the company’s activities within the real estate market in Poland. The developer has been following its sustainability policy for many years. GTC’s office buildings in Poland are all powered by green energy, and 88 percent of the Group’s portfolio has green certificates. GTC is also the first commercial developer in CEE to publish an ESG report, indicating its determination to have all new and – if possible – existing buildings, BREEAM or LEED certified. Financial support for wildlife conservation will complement these efforts from now on.
“Being aware of the pressures that business puts on the environment, we invited the WWF Poland to join forces in the efforts to educate the real estate market and undertake effective actions on nature protection. GTC is launching a partnership with WWF and will provide philanthropic support to the brown bear conservation program in Poland and tiger conservation efforts. Together with WWF Poland, GTC will build awareness among Polish society about the need to protect these species and their habitats” – commented Grzegorz Strutyński, GTC Country Manager Poland.
WWF Poland will support GTC with its expertise and experience. GTC, besides financial support and educational activities, will engage with WWF Poland and encourage donations (known as symbolic adoptions of animals in need of protection) and support fundraising activities. The initiatives will be carried out in the developer’s office buildings and shopping centers, as well as via the new building app “Welcome GTC”.
“We are delighted to welcome GTC amongst our strategic partners. We believe that nature can be protected with people and for the people. Everyone should know what impact we have on the planet, so that we can change this impact into a positive one, for example, by symbolically adopting animal species that are in danger of extinction and in need of protection. GTC, as our new strategic partner, can effectively engage not only its employees but also investors and visitors to GTC-owned shopping and business centers. Only pro-ecological changes made by businesses, combined with the actions of individuals, can bring positive change for people and for nature. There is still a lot to be done, but the future of our planet depends on each and one of us. Together Possible!”– commented Marta Smoręda, Senior Communication Specialist at WWF Poland.
Information on endangered species and their habitats:
Brown bear (Ursus arctos)
POPULATION in Poland: over 110 individuals
Bears, together with wolves and lynxes, are among the three largest predators inhabiting Polish forests. An adult male bear can weigh up to 300 kg, and a female 150 kg. Thus, these animals are counted as one of the largest land predators on Earth. In Europe, it lives in less accessible mountain ranges and areas in the northern part of the continent. In Poland it occurs mainly in the Bieszczady and Tatra Mountains. In recent years migrating specimens have appeared in north-eastern Poland. This beautiful and majestic animal is characterized by an unusual love of honey, long winter sleep and wonderful fur. Among forest species it is distinguished by its intelligence and sense of smell. Its innate cunning allows it to obtain food even in places where it is not welcome, e.g. apiaries. It is therefore very important to protect apiaries in the area where this predator lives. Recently, with the expansion of the occurrence of bears in Poland, some individuals began to appear near tourist routes and areas inhabited by people, where they look for food. They most often visit garbage containers.
Threat: Humans pose the greatest threat to them. Loss of habitat available to the bear and hunting and poaching have reduced the range of the species to areas where human population densities are low. However, the destruction of apiaries and the visits by bears to areas where people live reduce the acceptance of this species.
Solution: Thanks to WWF devices such as electric apiary fencing and “bear-proof” litter boxes, conflict situations are reduced. This helps to maintain acceptance for the protection of bears in Poland.
Tiger (Panthera tigris)
Population:around 3900 individuals
The tiger is the largest wild cat living on Earth. In many cultures it is considered a symbol of strength, independence and courage. Even 120 years ago, huge areas of Asia were inhabited by about 100,000 tigers, which is more than 25 times more than today! Tigers are a so-called umbrella species. This means that by protecting them, we also ensure the survival of other valuable species and preserve their natural habitats. The territory occupied by an adult male tiger is usually as large as several hundred square kilometers. Tigers play a key role in the ecosystem. These wild cats naturally regulate the populations of the animals they feed on, thus ensuring the preservation of biodiversity and the sustainability of the environment they inhabit. This benefits not only local communities who benefit from healthy environmental resources such as water and food, but all of Earth’s inhabitants.
Threat: For the tiger, the greatest threats come from human-induced pressures: loss of natural habitat, poaching and illegal trade, tiger farms, but also human-induced climate change.
Solution: In order to protect tigers more effectively, WWF Poland supports the activities of WWF Malaysia in Belum-Temengor and WWF Myanmar in the Dawna Tenasserim area. For many years, it has been running joint projects with key involvement of local communities, engaging in the process of collecting information on local populations of Malayan tiger and Indochinese tiger through, among others, the purchase of photo-traps. WWF Poland provides financial support to anti-poaching and monitoring patrols, which search the forests, remove snares, impede the activities of poachers and collect information about tigers and other forest inhabitants. It also conducts educational campaigns to raise people’s awareness.
Danny Bercovich was promoted to Regional Director of Retail of GTC. Previously, he has served the company as the CEO of GTC in Bulgaria and Romania. In the new role Mr Bercovich will steer the company’s operations and growth strategy in the retail segment.
Danny Bercovich has been associated with Globe Trade Centre since 2012, dealing with office and shopping malls projects as Head of GTC Romania and later GTC Bulgaria. He actively participated in strengthening company’s reputation in the SEE commercial real estate development market. As a highlight of his professional journey with GTC, Danny established a landmark office project Advance Business Center – a top design, modern green building in the office hub of Sofia that won local and international awards, currently hosting renowned companies as tenants in Bulgaria. Besides, Mr Bercovich was handling the sales and purchases of shopping malls in Bulgaria throughout the years, optimizing their performances and adapting them to the dynamic changes of the market. Lately, he was also involved in creating a strategy towards the GTC’s retail portfolio across the countries in which the Group operates. Leveraging his rich experience in development and operation of retail properties in the SEE markets, as well as GTC’s dedicated view on its retail portfolio, Danny Bercovich will steer the Group’s strategy of focusing on the shopping centres as Regional Director of Retail.
“Shopping centres are undergoing changes and facing challenges, but also providing huge opportunities for us. We need to make sure that we are focusing on maximizing the performance of our retail portfolio. This requires full dedication from an experienced person with a market insight and a foresight into shopping malls sector, fluent in both operations and performance management. Throughout his career at GTC, Danny Bercovich has proven to be a committed and highly professional expert, as well as a leader. I am confident with Danny as a Regional Director of Retail, we can further expand and develop within this dynamic real estate segment” – commentedZoltán Fekete, CEO at GTC.
The promotion of Danny Bercovich to the position of Regional Director of Retail is a strategy-driven move by GTC to strengthen company’s position within commercial real estate and, in particular, to improve its shopping malls’ performance. Ziv Gigi, country Manager of GTC in Romania, will take over the former responsibilities of Mr Bercovich as Head of GTC Bulgaria.
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