Knight Frank to strengthen its retail team

15 December 2011
Knight Frank, an international consultancy firm, has strengthened its retail team as well as generally broadening the scope of its activities within the Retail Real Estate Department, Russia and CIS which saw another high profile appointment this summer – that of Sergey Gipsh, now a Partner and a Regional Director at the firm.

Dmitri Vorobiev, Key Account Director, Retail Real Estate Department, Knight Frank Russia and CIS, has been yet another key addition to the firm most recently. Amongst his responsibilities will be managing the relationship with the market players such as major developers, local authorities and largest retail tenants in Moscow and the regions. On top of this Dmitri will initiate and lead the investment sales of the standing retail properties as well as those still under construction.

Dmitri Vorobiev, Key Account Director Retail Real Estate Knight Frank Russia and CIS: It is a great honor for me to join Knight Frank. We are set to increase the number of projects in the pipeline manyfold as well as generally widening Knight Frank’s presence in the regions and increasing our foothold there. I am confident that we can achieve this challenging task as a team effort in order to boost our portfolio by key shopping centre projects in Moscow and the regions of Russia.

The firm’s services related to shopping centers in Moscow and the regions are to be covered by a newly appointed Business Development Director at the Retail Real Estate Department Knight Frank Russia and CIS, Alexander Obukhovsky. Previously he held a post of a Commercial Projects Manager at IKEA Russia.

Alexander Obukhovsky, Business Development Director, Retail Real Estate Department, Knight Frank Russia and CIS: The initial period of the development of retail real estate market that helped filling the deficit of retail space in the urban areas of Russia is now largely over. Most of the new projects from now on will take place on the riskier markets: lower competition, location or lower income level of population. As to the external appearance of a professional shopping centre, this is something that most developers can nowadays fathom. Today it is the concept in its global sense that matters – starting from the local market knowledge to the innovative architectural and retail industry solutions which are bound to become the new competitive edge for the projects. At the moment it is a total football that is of importance – this is how a consultancy can be successful, where each player has the knowledge, experience and ambitions across all sectors of retail real estate. As such unique team is already in place this shall become Knight Frank’s key competitive advantage allowing to bid for designing and leasing of the best shopping centers in the capital and the largest regions in Russia.

Julia Sokolova has been appointed as a Director, Shopping Centers Leasing at Knight Frank Russia and CIS. She will be coordinating the leasing efforts at shopping centers, working with owners of shopping centers as well as generally supporting marketing and PR activities of the projects at different stages of development.

‘Let’s say it is overall support of the project which is the key when developing a retail property starting from the very concept to the property management. This is where our focus will be in the nearest future – we aim to boost the quality of our services as well as widening their offering to the developers of shopping centers in Moscow and the regions of Russia. A professional consulting team that works on the concept and leasing strategy is a prerequisite for a successful perfectly designed shopping centre which can withstand the competition and provide an investment return in a shorter time frame’.

Sergey Gipsh, Partner, Retail Real Estate Regional Director Knight Frank Russia and CIS: The main goal in front of us now is to substantially increase the quality and the quantity of the projects in the pipeline. We have to get to the next level in terms of our development – from the rather small projects without major concept to the landmark quality projects. I am very certain that we will master it.

Professional achievements:

Dmitri Vorobiev has been working on the commercial real estate market for over 10 years. Starting from 2002, he had occupied managing positions in the largest specialized companies where he was responsible for the major deals involving key developers. Prior to the Knight Frank role Dmitri held a managing partner post at one of the commercial real estate agencies in the capital where he was responsible for business development, strategic solutions as well as attracting new business and working with key clients. On top of this Dmitry dealt with a vast portfolio of regional projects in more than 15 largest Russian cities.

Alexander Obukhovsky’s experience in retail real estate spans 11 years. Amongst the projects that he had been working on for 2 years at IKEA Mos were MEGA shopping centre in Saint Petersburg and Novosibirsk, as well as MEGA’s concept in Voronesh. Prior to that Alexander spent 9 years at the Colliers International company, having risen from Consultant to Retail Real Estate Department Director. He graduated from the Physics Department of the Moscow State University as well as from Russian Academy of Sciences postgraduate department specializing in elementary particles physics. Alexander has a CCIM Institute Diploma (USA) and is fluent in English.

Julia Sokolova worked at the Retail Real Estate Department at the Colliers International company prior to her current post. In her capacity as an Associate Director she was responsible for leasing out the retail space at the projects that the firm dealt with. Amongst her achievements are the realization of such properties as River Mall, M5 Mall, Golden Babylon Rostokino, Golden Babylon Rostov, Viva, Rechnoy Vokzal, etc. Before her previous position she was a Leading Manager at IKEA Mos where she worked with Mega tenants in Russia.

Julia has been working in retail real estate since 2005. She graduated from Omsk Technical University in 2001 as a technology engineer. At the moment she is receiving an additional qualification in financial management at Moscow State Unviersity of Economics, Statistics and Informatics.