Charter Hall Retail Management (CHRML), the responsible entity for Charter Hall Retail REIT (REIT), has appointed its new independent chairman.

John Harkness has replaced David Southon as independent chairman of the CHRML board. But Southon will remain on the board as an executive director.

The appointment of an independent chairman, which was flagged by Charter Hall as a medium-term initiative at the time of the acquisition of the majority of Macquarie Group’s real estate management platform in February 2010, is in line with the ASX’s corporate governance principles and recommendations.
At the same time as this appointment, Harkness will resign from his current position as chairman of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee but will continue as a member. He will also continue to contribute board and finance experience to the REIT where he has served as an independent director on the CHRML board for over seven years.