Conference & Events

Faced by several disruptive forces, the PFA 2018 Conference will explore New Horizons – not just “new” property investment opportunities and alternatives, but how core property investments are changing and responding to new ways of doing business.

Some key ways property is responding to disruption include:

Multi-family or Build-to-Rent housing: Multi-family housing is largely unknown and often misunderstood in Australia, but green shoots are appearing. Build-to-Rent housing could be an important response to affordable housing shortages in Australia and may appeal to institutional investors targeting long-term income potential. While the local regulatory environment has made multi-family housing difficult, the experience in the UK, which only introduced multi-family housing in 2010 and now has a burgeoning build-to-rent sector, shows the power of strong underlying demand for rental accommodation. There are several multi-family housing projects in the pipeline in Australia.

Luke Mackintosh from Ernst & Young presents on multi-family housing at the PFA 2018 Conference.

Student accommodation: Is student accommodation on the cusp of rapid institutionalisation, or will it forever be an alternative asset class? This is a promising and growing sector both locally and globally. But there are many questions around what drives underlying returns, and the different models for investors – for example, purpose-built student accommodation versus purpose-managed accommodation.

Stephen Gaitanos from Scape presents on student accommodation at the PFA 2018 Conference.

Healthcare: Demand for quality healthcare only keeps growing, providing significant scope for property investment opportunity. Healthcare covers many things, from hospitals to seniors living. Investors will need to understand the supply/demand dynamics in different markets and may ask whether healthcare may experience the same cyclical nature as other property sectors.

Rob Morrison from Barwon Investment Partners presents on healthcare property at the PFA 2018 Conference.

Traditional core property investment sectors are also impacted by a disruptive business environment. Consider changes and emerging opportunities in the following core property asset classes:

Industrial property and the “e-commerce effect”: Industrial property is rapidly responding to huge changes in global retail trends, including new demands from the end retail consumer. Altered supply/demand fundamentals are also impacting the asset class. Other influences include the growth of huge global companies, traditional retailers expanding their offerings, and changing supply chain & logistics demands. Industrial property faces key challenges in taking advantage of the e-commerce effect without taking undue risks.

Nick Vrondas from Goodman Group presents on the e-commerce effect, and drivers and demand for industrial property at the PFA 2018 Conference.

Retail and the rise of “experiential retail”: The ever-changing retail environment has faced major challenges in staying relevant to changing consumer preferences, particularly for the traditional “bricks and mortar” retailers. Harnessing this constant change is a key question for property and for investors. More consumers value experience over products, which has seen the rise of “experiential retail” – how retailers respond to this disruption will be fascinating to see.

Gary Horwitz from LendLease presents on experiential retail – local and global perspectives at the PFA 2018 Conference.

Office property reworked – structurally, technically and socially: Office property has had to respond to structural shifts in society, including flexible working environments and a growing digital impact on the sector. Creating community in the office sector is becoming more important. “Place making” is becoming more prominent in office developments and refurbishments. How offices will be occupied in future is a key question.

Michelle McNally from ISPT Super Property presents on office property at the PFA 2018 Conference.

Finally, investors are highly influenced by disruption as new products, markets and secondary markets have a profound impact on global capital flows. Where is international capital currently going, and how does this influence the local property investment industry?

Petra Blazkova from Real Capital Analytics presents on global capital flows at the PFA 2018 Conference.

 Registrations for the PFA 2018 Conference close 20 April – click here to register.


Five reasons this property funds conference is unmissable

An influential group of industry experts, commentators and practitioners will explore property investment opportunities across core and alternative asset sectors at the Property Funds Association (PFA) Conference 2018, to be held in Adelaide 29 April – 1 May 2018.

The PFA has a reputation of putting together high-quality programs, and this is no different. Here are five key reasons why the 2018 conference is unmissable:

  1. Future property trends: The conference’s major theme is “new horizons”, which is apt as the sector adapts to the changing nature of business and investment. Attendees will gain insights into everything from future regulatory trends, to the rise of alternative asset classes to emerging trends within office, retail and industrial property. LendLease’s Gary Horwitz discusses the evolution of retail property, and ISPT Super Property’s Michelle McNally provides insight into how the office market is changing. Luke Mackintosh from Ernst & Young will look at Multi-Family Housing, why it’s an important future focus and where it fits into the Australian institutional market.

  2. Alternatives and emerging opportunities: The rise of alternative investment opportunities within property is a major theme. Anthony De Francesco from Real Investment Analytics will provide an overview of the local alternative property investment scene, including key considerations for investors. Stephen Gaitanos from Scape will explore student accommodation, how it is developing locally and globally, and analyse the key return fundamentals. Rob Morrison from Barwon Investment Partners looks at property opportunities in healthcare, the way it is structured, supply and demand dynamics and more. Simon Toovey from Commercial & General will discuss emerging property opportunities in our host city of Adelaide, and why international investors are now considering Adelaide an attractive market. The alternatives subject will be rounded off with a panel discussion on “understanding alternative sectors”.

  3. Core responses to disruption: Disruption is not only creating new potential investment opportunities, it is forcing core property sectors to adapt. Consider the “e-commerce effect” and its ramifications for industrial property – at the PFA Conference, Goodman Group’s Nick Vrondas will explore the ways changing consumer demands and supply chains are re-shaping industrial property, and the way they are impacting rents and values. Gary Horwitz from Lendlease will look at how “experiential” retail is changing “bricks and mortar”, while Michelle McNally from ISPT Super Property analyses the structural shifts changing how offices are increasingly being occupied, including flexible working trends and the impact of digital technology on the office sector. There will also be a panel discussion on “new horizons in core – managing change and growth”.

  4. Critical regulatory, legal and tax issues: Regulatory changes including new investment structures and compliance requirements are giving the property industry plenty to think about. Harry New from Hall & Wilcox will discuss the most pressing legal and regulatory issues, including the new CCIV investment structure, the proposed product design and distribution requirements, and what ASIC’s product intervention powers might look like. Stephen O’Flynn from ShineWing Australia will discuss the latest tax and accounting issues for the property sector.

  5. Global property investor trends: What are global investors currently looking for, and how are they approaching traditional core versus alternative asset classes in the sector? Blackstone Real Estate’s Chris Tynan will uncover global investors’ current motivations and understand some future considerations for global private equity. Petra Blazkova from Real Capital Analytics will explore global capital flows, including the continued impact of Asian capital and the focus on new products, markets and secondary markets. The final panel discussion will illuminate “global to local perspectives” on property.

Registrations for the PFA 2018 Conference close 20 April – click here to register.


PFA Conference 2017

We had an excellent line-up of speakers this year who spoke on the Conference Theme:

The Return Conundrum.  Peaked, Progressing or Plummeting?

 The property sector faces a Return Conundrum.  Total returns have achieved near-term historical highs driven mainly by capital growth.  Continued growth is expected with some cap rate compression still left and office sector incentives reducing. How long is this trend sustainable?  And what happens then?  Has the sector peaked, with interest rates set to increase soon?  Will the sector continue progressing with many of the opinion that relatively low interest rates will remain for some time?  Or are we facing a major paradigm shift which will fundamentally affect key aspects of the sector: how buildings are used, driven by changes in consumer retailing and office space dynamics; what cities will even look like; and how we fund investments?  Could this shift see property values plummeting? To ask the hard questions and examine the issues we will be joined by leading thinkers both inside and external to the property industry as we grapple with the future of the sector.

They presented on the following specifi topics and most presentations are available:​ 

Monday 8 May 2017

Shara Evans Technology Futurist and CEO, Market Clarity

Which conundrum? Change and possibilities – a look into the future
This presentation is unavailable  

Carmel Hourigan Global Head of Real Estate, AMP Capital

The return conundrum Investment decisions in a global world

Kevin Stanley Head of Property Strategy & Research, Commonwealth Bank

Peaked, progressing or plummeting? What are the critical signs?

Ray Sproats Executive Chairman, Fortius Funds Management

Peaked, progressing or plummeting? What are the investment warnings?

Antony Green Head of Real Estate, Australia, Macquarie Capital

Harry New Partner, Hall & Wilcox

Legal Horizons Keeping track of the latest issues

Stephen O’Flynn Partner, ShineWing Australia

Tax and Accounting Climate The latest updates

Sector tilting for performance Three case studies:

Jason Huljich, CEO - Unlisted Property Funds, CenturiaOffice

Mark Pratt, General Manager, Real Estate Investment, Australian Unity WealthHealthcare

Steven Bennett, Head of Direct, Charter Hall GroupDirect Automotive (this presentation is unvailable)

Monday 8 May 2017

Nerida Conisbee Chief Economist, REA Group 

Peaked or progressing? The economic outlook – residential

Tony Crabb Industry Commentator

Plummeting? Will the cities of the future change everything?
This presentation is unavailable but you can access the reading list here

Susan Wheeldon-Steele Industry Head, Google; Director, Centuria Capital

Inevitable change Achieving growth through innovation
This presentation is unavailable

PFA Sydney Christmas Event

Hosted by Australian Executive Trustees Limited, the PFA Christmas Event was held at the Luxurious Primus Hotel. A great night was celebrated at the spectacular rooftop bar by many PFA members and guests.











PFA Conference 2018

The PFA Conference 2018 presented an excellent line-up of speakers who spoke to the Conference Theme:

New Horizons - Exploring property opportunities

In a marketplace dealing with low returns and high disruption, the PFA Conference 2018 will examine New Horizons where we will be exploring property opportunities across core and alternative asset sectors.  Core direct property markets are fully priced with cap rates and IRRs achieving new lows.  Where to next for value?  What property classes could provide new investment opportunities in the future? Who are developing products in these sectors and how are they being received?  These and other issues will be explored by industry experts, commentators and practitioners.  Join us for thought provoking discussion and stimulating debate as we examine the property investment landscape.

They presented on the following specifi topics and most presentations are available:​ 

Monday 30 April 2018

Nick Vrondas, Group Chief Financial Officer, Goodman Group

The “E-Commerce Effect” – Drivers and Demand for Industrial Property

Gary Horwitz, Head of Retail - Investment Management, ‎Lendlease

“Experiential” Retail – Local and global perspectives

Chris Tynan, Managing Director, Blackstone Real Estate Australia

Private Equity – Current focus, future perspective
This presentation is unavailable

Michelle McNally, General Manager, Commercial Services, ISPT Super Property

Reworking the Office – Technically, structurally, socially
This presentation is unavailable

Harry New Partner, Hall & Wilcox

Legal and Regulatory Update

Stephen O’Flynn Partner, ShineWing Australia

Tax and Accounting Update

Luke Mackintosh, Partner, Real Estate Advisory Services, China Business Group, Ernst & Young

Multi-Family Housing – The way of the future?

Tim Peel Chief Financial Officer, Scape

Student Accommodation - Growing opportunities
This presentation is unavailable

Rob Morrison, Co-Head of Property, Managing Partner, Barwon Investment Partners

Healthcare – A diverse and growing sector

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Petra Blazkova, Senior Director of Analytics, APAC, Real Capital Analytics

Global Capital Flows – Where the markets are heading

Anthony De Francesco, Managing Director, Real Investment Analytics

Local Property Markets – Performance and alternative assets

Simon Toovey, Executive Director of Strategy & Business Development, Commercial & General

Lessons from Adelaide – Investments and projects









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