Aqualand appoints Sinophile Warwick Smith

Aqualand appoints Sinophile Warwick Smith
Aqualand appoints Sinophile Warwick Smith

The emerging Chinese property development giant Aqualand has appointed a heavyweight advisory board including former Liberal politician Warwick Smith, chairman of the Australia China Council, and who already sits on the boards of ANZ Bank China.

The former Tasmanian will become executive chairman of Aqualand, AL Capital and chair of the advisory board.

Smith joins the influential company director Gabrielle Trainor and former Multiplex chairman Ross McDiven on its advisory board as the company flags ambitions to become one of Australia’s largest developers.

Ms Trainor is an AFL commissioner, a director of Infrastructure Australia, and a former director of the Barangaroo Development Authority.

Aqualand group managing director Jin Lin, son of the parent group’s founder Yi Lin, said the advisory board appointments marked a significant milestone for Aqualand, which only entered the Australian market in 2014.

It now has 18 sites with a $5 billion development pipeline.

John Carfi, a former head of residential for Mirvac, was appointed in April to oversee its Australian strategy.

Aqualand’s parent is the Sheng­long Group, which controls more than $20 billion of assets in the Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe.

One of Aqualand’s biggest projects is in Sydney’s $5 billion Central Barangaroo precinct, in a consortium with Canada's Oxford Properties; Melbourne developer Grocon and shopping centre giant Scentre Group.

Aqualand has signalled it will also focus on major affordable housing projects following last month’s passing of legislation for the $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility.

It is bidding for part of the NSW government’s 10-year $2.5 billion Telopea social and affordable housing masterplanned community near Parramatta.

Aqualand has established AL Capital — led by investment banker Wayne Mo — which last month spent $10.7 million buying 15 per cent equity in the listed real estate agency McGrath.

The group has an arrangement to now utilise McGrath’s project marketing expertise on its projects for a five year term, where McGrath has the first right to discuss the marketing propositions.

John Carfi said last week that the company aimed to rival Australia biggest developers over the next five years.

The group currently had just over $2bn invested in Australia, he said.



Affordable Housing aqualand

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