Published: 7 June 2005
Perth rental specialist Wentworth Mutual Ltd has settled its acquisition of LJ Hooker Thornlie’s West Australian property management business, brought in the top-ranking property management teacher as its managing director and now has billionaire investor Richard Pratt as a 9% shareholder.
The Hooker acquisition is Wentworth’s 9th since it entered the property management business in 2003. This one involves 300 properties worth $A60 million. The Hooker business will continue to run its sales activities from Thornlie Square in Perth, referring future property management business to Wentworth.
LJ Hooker Thornlie’s principals have become significant Wentworth shareholders through this transaction.
Group managing director Glenn Wheeler said Wentworth has a short-term goal of managing 4000 properties worth $A1 billion and has a longer-term target of managing 25,000 properties.
Wentworth wants to be the first company listed on the ASX that’s a nationally dedicated property management company. It’s hired the top-ranked Tony Warren, general manager of the property management division of Philip Webb Real Estate in Melbourne, as managing director.
Wentworth chief executive Brian McNamara said Webb was one of Australia’s largest & most successful property management businesses, managing more than 3800 properties. Mr Warren was previously at McGrath Real Estate in Sydney, which has 300 properties under management.
Mr Warren has run advanced property management workshops for every state real estate institute in Australia over the past 15 years, and for 10 years has conducted training sessions in the US for the National Association of Residential Property Managers and the Florida Association of Residential Property Managers.
“He has also advised governments on issues related to property management, including the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act in Victoria, and was an industry member of the Federal Government review of the residential tenancy legislation in 1996. Mr Warren has also written several books on property management, including A systems manual for residential property managers in 1995 and Residential property management (1991 & 1996), published by the Real Estate Institute of Australia.
At the same time as Wentworth hired Mr Warren, billionaire Melbourne investor Richard Pratt’s Thorney Pty Ltd became Wentworth’s 2nd biggest shareholder, with 9%.
“Mr Pratt’s investment company decided to invest principally because of Wentworth Mutual’s unique ASX-listed mutual ownership business model. Mr Warren added that he has decided to join Wentworth Mutual as it was a unique company in the Australian property management sector, as it rewards property owners, and for the strong emphasis it had on including property managers in the company’s employee share ownership plan, which is unique in the property management industry.
“Wentworth Mutual is a unique company because it is based on the owners of the properties under management having a mutual ownership of the property management company through their shareholding.
“When Wentworth Mutual takes on the management of a rental property, it will allocate $A250 worth of shares & $A500 worth of options to the owner of an investment property. The shares & options are in the listed management company, Wentworth Mutual Ltd, and the owner makes no financial outlay for these securities.”
Website: Wentworth Mutual