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Strong growth for CRE specialist financier MaxCap

Oct 17, 2019
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Melbourne, 17 October 2019 – Leading Australian Commercial Real Estate financier MaxCap Group is responding to changing market dynamics in Australia and New Zealand with additional offerings to its core Australian debt finance business.

The specialist debt financier has entered the direct investment space with MaxCap leaders, Wayne Lasky and Brae Sokolski saying the strength in the commercial release estate sector gave room for further offerings and expansion.

They see the timing as now right to selectively participate in direct investment. This is coupled with investor demand for higher yielding investment opportunities to complement their existing focus on senior and structured debt portfolios within MaxCap Group.

“We are a highly specialised investment house with a specific focus on Australia and New Zealand Commercial Real Estate,” said Wayne Lasky, MaxCap Co-founder and Managing Director. “Working with trusted developers as a passive joint venture capital partner is a logical step for us at this point in time.”

Mr Lasky said that MaxCap’s investors were wanting to see a greater breadth of investment opportunities.

“So alongside MaxCap’s mainstream debt business, we are also providing direct investment opportunities as the timing is right in terms of returns. Our goal is to build our direct investment business to be 10% of the Group’s activities over the next three years.”

Mr Lasky noted that MaxCap Group specialises in commercial real estate debt funding and had originated and managed approximately A$8billion worth of loans since it was established in 2007.

“Looking back over the last decade, we have been grateful to receive strong support from our investors, backing our innovation and benefiting from strong first mover advantages,” he said. “In 2010, we developed the largest mezzanine book in our market after identifying structural change and subsequently introducing institutional capital – and followed this up in the senior debt space a few years later when we could see regulatory intervention open up opportunities to achieve strong risk adjusted-returns.”

In 2019, MaxCap has crossed the Tasman to establish JV operations in New Zealand, and in response to recent market dynamics, has now added a direct investment capability.

Direct Investment

Speaking to the direct investment business, Mr Sokolski referenced the recent appointment of Simon Hulett, ex Charter Hall, who will head that business.

“Simon will lead the development and execution of MaxCap’s direct investment strategy nationally and originate opportunities across all asset classes,” said Mr Sokolski.

He noted that MaxCap had been highly selective in how it had entered the equity investment market, taking joint venture positions in high quality development projects across commercial, residential, hotels, offices, and industrial real estate sectors.

“Each of these is underpinned by strong market fundamentals and experienced development partners,” he said. “We’re also keen observers of where capital is flowing. In 2019, in equity capital markets we’ve seen much less inbound capital for non-institutional grade development and that’s created an “opportunity gap” in the Australian market for local investment.”


MaxCap Direct Investment Milestones 2019

Mantra Hotel, Epping VIC – Partner: Too Build.  A brand new hotel in Melbourne’s northern growth corridor completed and commenced trading in May 2019.

Aspire, Melbourne CBD – Partner: ICD. The best selling high-density residential project in Australia in 2019. Fully funded with builder being finalised. Construction due to commence before Christmas 2019.

Luxury Automotive Brand Dealership VIC – (Partner Commercial in Confidence). Secured on a 15-year lease in a prime major highway location to the east of Melbourne. Construction due to commence before Christmas 2019.