Business Insider: Mark Hotchin snares Auckland office block, the great CEO exodus, Sharesies Aussie drive

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Hotchin's $19.4m purchase

Mark Hotchin continues to rack up commercial property, his latest deal an Auckland office tower purchased for $19.4 million through Ohl Limited, one of his associated companies.

The former Hanover boss bought ACS House in Grafton last September. The office block comes with 76 carparks and a 5.38 per cent yield, according to property agent Whillans.

The building’s core tenant is Auckland Clinical Studies, an early phase research facility jointly owned by Christian Schwabe and Waterman Capital.

Hotchin has accumulated a sizeable property portfolio over the past five years.

Other commercial property interests include the Meadowlands Shopping Plaza in the East Auckland suburb of Howick, bought by Ohl for $23m, and central city office block 2 Kitchener St, acquired in two titles in 2017 and 2018 for $25.3m.

Another Hotchin vehicle, Omara Property Group, recently sold the Countdown Papakura site on Great South Road and he has also sold two holiday homes – one on Waiheke Island’s Palm Beach, and another near Queenstown.

The great CEO exodous

Another week, another batch of chief executives have announced resignations, raising the question whether Covid burnout is setting in.

This week saw Ryman CEO Gordon MacLeod follow Adrian Littlewood (Auckland International Airport) and Tony Gibson (Ports of Auckland) in making their exits known.

MacLeod completes a clean sweep of the Retirement Village CEOs in a short space of time, following Arvida’s Bill McDonald earlier this week, Oceania’s Earl Gasparich (to Metlifecare) in March and Summerset’s Julian Cook late last year.

Earlier this month David McLean announced he is retiring from Westpac in June. Other CEOs to hand in their notice recently include Paul Altson (Cavalier Corp), Rob Everett (FMA), Mark Cairns (Port of Tauranga) and Leon Clement (Synlait).

The exodous is also infecting advertising land with the Herald revealing two of the biggest names in the industry – Justin Mowday and Damon Stapleton – werejumping ship at DDB Aotearoa.

Moments later, FCB NZ boss Paul Shale announced he will be stepping down in June.

Makes you wonder who will be next.

The great Sharesies migration

Two-thirds of Sharesies 3EO team have moved across the Ditch to help facilitate its Australian expansion.

Husband and wife Leighton and Brooke Roberts hopped on a flight to Sydney a week after the transtasman bubble taking their young family across with them.

Leighton Roberts said he felt a little stressed ahead of the flight after not being able to travel overseas for the last year.

“It was funny … you create this big thing around international travel now. It wasn’t that long ago we were hopping over to Sydney for the day.”

But it turned out to be one of the easiest flights he had ever done.

“There was not a queue anywhere. You felt safe. It was surprising. I definitely had this big deal in my mind.”

The online trading platform began offering its services to Australian investors last month piggy-backing on the financial services licence of Sanlam Private Wealth.

Roberts said it was now in the process of applying for its own Australian financial services licence.

“We are operating in Australia under an introducer model so that is using another licenced provider. It is a reasonably common model over here. But we are working towards our own one and once we have that we will move into more of a growth phase. At the moment we are here doing lots of exploratory stuff.”

Sharesies has an office in Sydney and a contractor working out of Melbourne. Leighton said it was in the process of hiring more staff and could look to open a second Australian office in time.

“We have got offices in Auckland and Wellington now and all going well we see an expansion to open a Melbourne office down the track.”

Leighton said Australians faced similar problems to Kiwi investors in terms of access to investing but the market was much bigger.

“The property market is completely out of control here too.”

Fortunately, Roberts said, they were not trying to buy a house and the plan was just to rent short term until the Australian business was established.

“We will get this licence sorted, get the first few customers on board and then also hire someone to be our country manager.”

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