In a year when the Gurner Group has added $1.9 billion worth of total project value to its pipeline, Tim Gurner's eponymous developer is entering a new phase of leadership with former Australia Post and Latitude Group (ASX: LFS) boss Ahmed Fahour announced as its new chief executive officer (CEO) today.
It is understood that Fahour will be making a minority investment in the group, which currently has a $14.6 billion portfolio with verticals including build-to-sell (BTS) and build-to-rent (BTR) property development, wellness, hospitality, design, property management and funds management.
Fahour is expected to wind down his other client commitments and from 2024 lead the 200-plus strong team across the group, which has offices across Australia and a national brand presence.
"It was important in this next chapter of my career to work in the private sector with a business and people who have drive, ambition, creativity and a strong sense of commerciality. Tim brings all of this and more," says Fahour.
"He is an innovator and a futurist in his vision and by working together I believe the Gurner Group can achieve sustainable long-term growth while maintaining the family values that have been built since the company was founded.
"There are three major structural factors driving the Australian economy at the moment that Gurner Group is poised to capitalise on more so than any other business in the country, being the significant undersupply of housing, our ageing population, and the opportunistic superannuation capital that is searching for deployable investments."
Tim Gurner says Fahour's appointment is in line with the group's strategic plan we set in 2020 to diversify and start corporatising the company without losing the flair, creativity and innovation that has made the brand what it is.
"It is extremely humbling to announce Ahmed’s appointment today after watching him lead some of Australia’s largest private and public companies for over 20 years," he says.
"We are serious about the ongoing transformation of the Group into a capital-light investment and funds management house, while realising the enormous potential of our other business divisions.
"As a founder and entrepreneur, I found myself spread across so many divisions and competing interests with less time to focus on the things I truly enjoy the most – and am good at – so, after an amazing 10 years of growth and diversity into new sectors, it was time to bring someone in with complementary strengths and skills to mine, allowing us to move into the next stage of the Group’s evolution together."
In this vein, Gurner says he is excited to again be able to dedicate more time to new business opportunities and acquisitions.
In 2023 Gurner Group announced more than $300 million worth of land acquisitions across its BTR and BTS platforms, as well as an investment in the wellness industry with private wellness club Saint Haven launching its inaugural location in Collingwood, Melbourne with more than 4,800 people on a waitlist and more locations to be announced.
Today it was also announced that the GQ BTR platform, backed by both Gurner and Qualitas, entered into a joint venture with Malaysian developer OSK Property to develop and operate a BTR residential tower within the $2.8 billion Melbourne Square precinct in Southbank, comprising around 500 residences and extensive communal amenities.
The new BTR tower will be designed by Cox Architecture and construction is due to commence in the first quarter of 2025.
GQ and OSK Property have strong confidence in the Southbank market. GQ has a separate BTR project under construction on City Road in Southbank, while OSK Property recently completed two transactions, acquiring neighbouring properties totalling 7,800sqm at 87-117 Queensbridge Street and 190 City Road for a future mixed-use development.
The GQ BTR platform launched in 2021 with three initial seed sites: in Melbourne, the $300 million Beach House in Melbourne’s St Kilda – which is nearing completion ahead of the first residences hitting the market in early 2024 and a $350 million tower at City Road in Southbank, and in Sydney the 61-storey, $450 million project in Hassall Street, Parramatta.
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