Property Australia

Property People

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal September 7, 2021

Dean McIntyre takes up the top job for GHD in Australia, Urbis appoints PwC director Matt Palmen to drive its Future State division and QIC promotes chief investment officer Allison Hill.

Dean McIntyre will lead GHD’s Australia business and succeeds Phil Duthie as executive general manager. Duthie is taking up a new role as chief operating officer. McIntyre joined GHD as a graduate in 1989 and was most recently regional general manager for Victoria. He also has experience leading GHD’s Philippines and Southeast Asia business. GHD employs more than 4,200 people in 40-plus offices across Australia as part of a global workforce of 10,000. Current Australian projects include master engineering design services for Western Sydney International Airport and three new stations as part of Brisbane’s Cross River Rail.

The MW Group, which includes property investment advisory firm Momentum Wealth, has launched a funds management brand. Westbridge Funds Management will bring together Momentum Wealth’s residential funds division with its commercial property funds management arm, formerly known as Mair Property Funds. The new vision will be overseen by managing director Damian Collins. The move follows significant growth for the WA-based company, which has increased assets under management by four-fold in the last six years to $500 million.

Urbis has appointed PwC director Matt Palmen to drive its new strategic advisory division, Future State, in Sydney. Palmen was most recently a member of PwC’s integrated infrastructure team where he advised on city and precinct policy and development for the past two years. Prior to this, he spent four years at EY in the firm’s economics, regulation and policy team. Palmen will work alongside Future State directors Kate Meyrick, former CEO of The Hornery Institute, and James Tuma in Brisbane, Nathan Stribley in Melbourne, and its national team of specialist consultants.

QIC has promoted deputy state chief investment officer Allison Hill to the position of chief investment officer with responsibility for the state investments team and around $58 billion on behalf of Queensland. Hill steps into the shoes of Jim Christensen who is retiring after nearly five years with the fund. Hill joined QIC in 2018 as director of investments.

Peter Blade will head up JLL’s logistics and industrial business in Australia as industrial activity continues record growth. Blade, who has more than 25 years’ experience in commercial real estate, is currently JLL’s NSW head of industrial. He is also head of JLL’s Parramatta office. He will continue in these roles, in addition to his new national leadership position. JLL research figures show gross take-up of industrial space exceeded 1.18 million sqm during the second quarter of 2021 – smashing the previous record of 1.15 million sqm that was recorded in the first quarter of this year.

Australian-owned valuation business Opteon has acquired Valucentric, a firm that provides residential and commercial valuation services throughout the United States. Opteon snapped up appraisal firm The William Fall Group and its related brands, Valuation Partners and Summit Valuation Solutions, earlier this year. Group CEO Chris Knight has relocated to the US to support Opteon’s strategy implementation.

JLL’s hotels and hospitality group has appointed Mark Walsh to its Queensland team as vice president. Walsh’s previous roles include state manager of Spirit Hotels, now known as AVC, where he was responsible for the performance of a portfolio of 40 hotels across Queensland. He was most recently a hotel broker at CRE Brokers in Brisbane. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, JLL has generated more than $1 billion hotel sales in 2021 alone.

After eight years with AMP Capital, Fiona Manning is moving on to Apostle Funds Management, where she will be a portfolio manager for the soon-to-be launched Apostle People and Planet Diversified Fund. Manning held several roles over her time with AMP Capital including ESG researcher and investment communications manager. She has also held roles with The Climate Institute and Insight Investment.

PGIM Real Estate, with US$195 billion in gross assets under management, has a new global chief investment officer, following Raimondo Amabile’s promotion. Amabile expands his current role as head of Europe and Latin America. He steps into the shoes of Eric Adler, who has held the position of global CIO since 2013, while also serving as CEO. Last month, PGIM and Fortius Funds Management acquired the office at 307 Queen Street in Brisbane from LaSalle Investment Management for nearly $215 million.