Detailed News


Event Recap - Property Forum 2017 - Building a Resilient Property Business

02 August 2017

ACBC Victoria welcomed over 100 guests to our Property Forum for 2017 held in partnership with Pitcher Partners on 2 August in Melbourne. Our keynote speaker, Minister for Planning, The Hon Richard Wynne, and expert panel explored the various elements of building a resilient property business, focusing on practical aspects for investors and developers.

The proceedings began with a welcome from Theo Sakell, Partner/Executive Director – Tax Consulting at Pitcher Partners, which was followed by a keynote address from the Minister for Planning.

Minister Wynne opened with a quote from former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping highlighting the boldness and courage required when pursuing reform. The way in which Melbourne seeks improvement and growth in terms of property and planning needs to follow this path. The Minister therefore highlighted the importance of embracing new ways of growing by focusing on the development opportunities available at our doorstep.

Melbourne is currently in the midst of a transformational shift in the type of developments being built throughout the city and its surrounds. Concentrating on the development opportunities available at our doorstep and continuing to plan well will enhance Melbourne’s status as the most liveable city in the world, allowing our city to stay ahead of the game. The Minister’s address concluded by emphasising that property is not just about investment and economics, but culture and partnerships ensuring long term commitment to mutually beneficial outcomes.

The keynote was followed by the first presentation of the day from Andrew Clugston, Partner – Business Advisory and Assurance, Pitcher Partners. His presentation centred on accessing offshore equity, as well as property joint ventures and navigating the changing tax landscape. Andrew also spoke about tax considerations for non-resident investors, as well as the property fund structure of the Australian Real Estate Investment Trust.

The next presentation came from Brae Sokolski, Chief Investment Officer at MaxCap Group. Brae’s presentation focused on funding issues. In delineating the financing environment both pre and post the GFC, Brae pointed to somewhat of a liquidity crisis for property developers and investors. However, he believes that in the long term this will be for the betterment of the industry as this new funding paradigm has resulted in the rise of alternative sources of financing, providing developers and investors with more diverse and tailored forms of funding.

The presentations were followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A with Minister Wynne, Andrew Clugston, Brae Sokolski and Mark Wizel, National Director of Retail Investments, CBRE. Topics discussed included mixed used developments, the need for more hotel developments in Melbourne, medium density developments in middle ring suburbs and how the property industry is being challenged to improve.

The formal proceedings concluded with the presentation of Brown Brothers wine as a gift to our speakers, as well as further networking opportunities.

ACBC Victoria kindly thanks all our speakers for their time and expertise, along with all those who attended the forum. We would also like to warmly thank Pitcher Partners for facilitating and generously hosting the event.