Graeme Wilson, a former Executive Director at Macquarie Bank for 16 years, shares his story of why he joined White & Partners. Graeme holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Victoria University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I have been working in real estate for more than 20 years. Prior to joining White & Partners in September 2017, I was an Executive Director at Macquarie Bank involved in real estate finance, investment, advisory and funds management for over 16 years.
Why White & Partners?
I wanted to join a group where the core focus of the business is real estate. The broader Ray White environment provides many touch points into the real estate industry, offering great market intelligence and deal flow. The White & Partners team has broad experience across all asset classes and expertise in sourcing capital, development management and construction. This allows each deal to be considered from a number of angles and makes our process quite unique.
What do you focus on?
I participate in all parts of the White & Partners investment spectrum which varies across residential, office, industrial, pubs, education and agriculture. In our current environment, if I had to pick one, it would be debt management. As the major banks continue to tighten lending to reduce its share of commercial real estate debt, there is a significant opportunity for non-bank lenders. For investors, privately structured loans provide attractive risk-adjusted returns. White & Partners’ real estate heritage also allows us to take a view on settlements and the depth of the housing market. This means that when assessing potential loans, we can often consider builders, pre-sales composition, leverage ratios and collateral packages that may fall outside of traditional banking parameters.
However, having been actively involved in finding solutions for financially troubled real estate groups through the GFC, I am acutely aware of not letting temptation dilute informed decision making. We need to get comfort that current demand and supply trends will continue to provide an attractive price gap and there is a substantial margin of safety if house prices do fall. White & Partners provides an excellent platform to initiate, assess and execute these transactions. I am very excited to be here.