By Dan McCue Monday, November 30, 2009
Amidst the turmoil of the Dubai World debt crisis, subtle changes are coming to the management of Dubai based Jafza’s development of a massive logistics park near Santee.
The moves are not directly related to the current crisis, but rather are an outgrowth the reported $450 million purchase of London-based Gazeley Ltd., by Jafza’s parent company, Economic Zones World last year.
EZW, a subsidiary of Dubai World, has yet to be caught in the undertow related of the ongoing financial crisis in the Emirate.
For the sake of clarity, Dubai World is the emirate’s investment vehicle. It owns DP World, one of the largest global port operators, and EZW, which develops and operates economic zones and industrial parks. Gazeley, with its track record in Europe as Wal-mart’s development arm there, will help Dubai World to build a global logistics development business.
Gazeley is also considered to be at the forefront of green industrial development.
In the reshuffling, Chuck Heath, Jafza’s longtime managing director, has been named senior vice president and, among other roles, will serve as an advisor to EZW CEO Salma Hareb, long considered one of the most powerful businesswomen in the Arab world.
“I remain president of Jafza-South Carolina, and will also handle government relations in the U.S.,” Heath said.
Of his new assignment, Heath said he’s been asked to create a new business unit within EZW called “Management and Advisory.”
Through that new unit, Heath will serve as manager for several of the company’s other development projects around the world, and will also “advise other zones on global best practices,” Heath said.
In light of Heath’s new duties, EZW has appointed Nick Greenwood, Gazeley’s longtime managing director, to the position of senior vice president and managing director for Europe and the U.S., putting him directly in charge of the Santee project.
Greenwood did not respond to requests for comment, but in a profile in Property Week magazine in September, he spoke at length about continuing the company’s core business of large-scale industrial and logistics development, while also becoming more involved in the investment side of the property industry.
But that wasn’t to suggest he expected lavish backing from Dubai. In fact, he told Property Week with unintended prescience, “We haven’t got bucketloads of cash to buy up the market.”
“But we are under no pressure to sell assets so, compared with some of our competitors, we are in a good position,” Greenwood said.
Heath said he and Greenwood plan to come to South Carolina in January to formally announce what he described as “the handover” and to introduce Greenwood to stakeholders in the Santee project.