05/08/2010 - 00:00

New traditions for streamlined Aspen

05/08/2010 - 00:00

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PERTH-BASED national property development and syndicated funds manager Aspen Group’s new managing director, Gavin Hawkins, is targeting its Aspen Parks and Aspen Living divisions for future growth.

New traditions for streamlined Aspen

PERTH-BASED national property development and syndicated funds manager Aspen Group’s new managing director, Gavin Hawkins, is targeting its Aspen Parks and Aspen Living divisions for future growth.

Mr Hawkins has been managing director at Aspen Group since it parted ways with co-founding director Angelo Del Borello in mid-June.

“We were co-founding directors and the board I think came to the view that there was a need for a more traditional management structure,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Really it was just about trying to provide clear reporting lines to the executive team and I believe the board saw the changes really facilitating that in the most efficient and streamlined manner.”

Aspen announced two new appointments to its senior executive team late last month, Jeff Holloway and Simon Martin, following the recent appointment of Mr Hawkins as managing director.

Mr Holloway has been appointed to the role of head of commercial development, and will be initially focused on Aspen’s Tower 8 commercial office project in Adelaide.

Mr Martin will take on the role of chief financial officer.

Aspen’s current focus, Mr Hawkins said, was building scale in its core residential funds syndication business.

“Currently we have 5,000 zoned residential lots; we would like to at least double that exposure over the next two to three years,” Mr Hawkins said.

“That’s a key area – we want to generate significant scale and leverage off our substantial in-house development and sales capabilities. The other key area we want to grow is in our Aspen Parks fund.

“Aspen Parks currently has a portfolio of $270 million worth of caravan parks and accommodation parks nationally, and we are the largest player in the caravan park sector.

“We would like to see significant further growth and scale in that business, and we’d like to leverage off our track record in that space to provide further consolidation of the sector.”

According to Mr Hawkins, the strength of Aspen Parks and residential syndication arm Aspen Living meant the group was well placed to bounce back from issues encountered from falling property values during the global financial crisis.

He said Aspen’s significant exposure to the Western Australian and South Australian property markets provided a clear message to the market that the business was in a “very good” financial position.

“Both of those are in the top three markets in Australia at the moment, so we’re very happy with that significant exposure to the stronger performing states,” he said.

“I think that provides some significant potential for growth within our existing portfolio.

“I guess a case in point is we have a development opportunity up at Balmoral in our Aspen Parks fund, where we have four hectares of spare land set aside to provide accommodation for mining and resource companies in Karratha.

“Our Aspen Karratha village that we set up solely for Woodside is working very well and our tenant seems to be happy with the level of accommodation and services provided.

“At the moment we are certainly looking to extend our relationship with them and other resource companies to help their accommodation needs in the north-west.”

 

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