Grosvenor to focus Australian business on fund management

The international property company has decided to expand its fund management activities in Australia rather than grow by direct investment.

Grosvenor, the London-based international property company, has taken a decision to focus its activities in Australia upon its fund management business rather than direct investing.

The company, which took the decision following a strategy review, said: “In essence, we have decided to achieve our ambitions in Australia by expanding our fund management business rather than by direct Grosvenor investment. This will allow Grosvenor Fund Management to extend its offering to investors by establishing new investment vehicles in Australia on behalf of investors looking for ways of gaining exposure to this market.” 

In the future, Grosvenor’s new capital investments will be in the form of co-investments via Grosvenor-managed funds, it added.

Rob Kerr, chief executive officer of Grosvenor Australia is remaining with the firm to assist the transition, but will not take a position in Grosvenor Fund Management and will leave at the end of the year.

Morgan Laughlin, Grosvenor Fund Management director of Asia Pacific, will assume responsibility for the company’s Australian operation from 1 January 2012.   

Mark Preston, group chief executive said in a statement: “Grosvenor has been in Australia since 1968. It is an important market for the group and we are very proud of what Grosvenor Australia has achieved here. What we are doing is changing the nature of our Australian presence – expanding our fund management business to encompass the region, rather than continuing with direct investment.”

It is a stated aim of the company to grow its business in Asia as well as fund management around the world.

According to its 2010 annual accounts and report published this week, the group has £10.9 billion (€12.2 billion; $18 billion) of property, £3.8 billion of which is owned by the fund management division. The group made a return of 1.9 percent for 2010 against -2.8 percent in 2009.