Hines opens new office in New Zealand

The firm sees opportunities in the country's build-to-rent, value-add office and industrial sectors.

Hines has established an office in New Zealand as part of its broader plan to increase exposure in Asia-Pacific, PERE has learned.

The firm has hired James Molloy from New Zealand real estate fund Oyster Property Group to manage the new office, where he will source new acquisitions, investment and development opportunities. Prior to joining Hines in February, he spent more than 12 years at Oyster Property Group, most recently as general manager for investment. Based in Auckland, James will work closely with Hines’ head of Australia and New Zealand David Warneford, who is based in Sydney.

“We see compelling opportunities in New Zealand, especially in the build-to-rent, value-add office and logistics/industrial sectors, and its marketplace is a natural extension to what our teams are already doing in Australia,” Ray Lawler, chief executive of Asia-Pacific at Hines, said in a statement.

Hines first entered Australia in 2012 and it has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Today, its assets under management in Australia have reached A$2.8 billion ($1.9 billion; €1.79 billion). In November 2022, it entered into a A$1.5 billion partnership with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan-owned Cadillac Fairview to invest in Australia’s build-to-rent sector.

“We’d like to grow organically in New Zealand, step by step. Our first hire is the most important and we are thrilled to have James Molloy join us. Like the 29 countries before New Zealand, we will grow our team as our investments grow over time. Australia started with David Warneford as our first employee over 10 years ago and now he has a team of 28 people and counting,” Lawler told PERE.

The new office marks the firm’s 11th office location and seventh country since entering the Asia-Pacific region in 1996. The opening of the New Zealand office comes shortly after the establishment of its Vietnam office in October 2022.

“The Hines APAC team has a 2030 vision of what Hines Asia-Pacific should look like. We endeavor to be about a third of what the firm is doing by then, and we think that is achievable based on our progress so far,” Lawler said in an October 2022 interview with PERE.

Under the leadership of Lawler, the firm has tripled its assets under management in Asia-Pacific from $2 billion in 2018 to $6 billion in 2022. Currently, China, Australia and the combined markets of Japan and South Korea each represent approximately one-third of Hines’ portfolio in the region, with a small exposure to Singapore.