Ahmed Fahour to run Gurner Group

Former Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour has been hired by Tim Gurner to run the property empire he founded of the same name, which now has a $15bn pipeline of apartment towers, health clubs and funds management.

While the terms of Fahour’s appointment as group CEO have yet to be disclosed, he is expected to make a minority investment in the business.

It’s understood that Fahour will be charged by Gurner with capitalising on the platform, which following a strategic overhaul four years ago, is focused on pivoting to a capital-light funds management model – which would oversee a portfolio of luxury living and lifestyle interests.

“There is a very unique opportunity for a nimble group like ours, with the corporate experience of Ahmed and the support of our capital partners to create something truly unique for the Australian market,” Gurner said.

Commenting on his appointment, Fahour notes Gurner Group is well-placed to capitalise on big structural factors driving the national economy: including a significant undersupply of housing, the ageing population, and the build-up in superannuation capital looking to be invested.

“The true value of Gurner Group lies in evolving a platform to deliver tangible solutions to those structural opportunities. Gurner is an alternative asset manager with significant growth opportunities,” Fahour said.

Ross Du Vernet appointed as Dexus CEO

Dexus announces the appointment of Ross Du Vernet as the next CEO and executive director.

A member of the executive leadership team since he joined Dexus in 2012, Du Vernet currently serves as the company’s chief investment officer.

Du Vernet will take up the CEO appointment in March 2024 and Darren Steinberg will continue as incumbent Dexus CEO until then.

Dexus chair, Warwick Negus is confident that alongside the company’s executive leadership team, Du Vernet will succeed in leading Dexus through its next phase of growth.

“During his time at Dexus, Ross has made a significant contribution to the delivery of our strategy and repositioning the company as a leading Australasian real assets manager,” said Negus.

“The combination of his deep property investment expertise, track record of setting and delivering on strategy and his knowledge of the Dexus business makes Ross the ideal successor.”

Commenting on his appointment Du Vernet noted:

“Dexus is at an exciting stage in its evolution, with strong foundations and a unique set of capabilities in the platform… I am committed to working with our clients, the board and wider Dexus team as we deliver long-term value for investors and work towards our vision of being globally recognised as Australasia’s leading real asset manager.”

Ray White AKG unveils leadership moves

As part of a proposed transformation, Annabelle Ross (pictured left below) will take on the newly created role of head of customer service.

Having spent time as a successful Brisbane-based principal, she comes to the team with more than 10 years experience in leading teams and delivering results for her clients.

Marcus Frater also joins the team, taking on the role of head of growth, from Australian proptech company PROPIC.

Frater has a strong affinity with the brand, with his family having run a Ray White franchise for more than a decade – which he said was an important part of his understanding and learnings of the real estate industry.

Finally, former office manager, Carmen James, has been appointed new head of human resources and people.

James is set to lead a move to health and wellness programs, which Ray White AKG principal Avi Khan said would be emphasised for the leadership team in particular.

Reflecting on the new appointments, Khan believes the group is “well-positioned to provide unparalleled support in an increasingly competitive real estate market.”

Harcourts names new SA CEO

After leading the brand’s operations, marketing, growth and strategy within SA for the past nine years, Rachel Eckey will take up the position of Harcourts SA CEO when incumbent CEO Gregg Toyama retires on 20 December.

Harcourts Australia CEO Adrian Knowles described Eckey as “an integral part of the Harcourts corporate support team.”

“Rachel’s diverse background in business, real estate and government, and having worked with teams throughout Australia, as well as in Europe and Canada, means that she brings a unique set of skills and experience, and is the ideal candidate for this role,” Knowles said.

Eckey plans to continue fostering the brand’s people-first mentality in her new role.

REINSW appoints new president

Barry Johnston replaces Peter Matthews as the state institute’s new president.

Johnston founded the North Sydney-based agency Balmoral Partners in 1997, specialising in commercial property services and has been a member of the board for the past nine years.

Johnston brings a familiarity working directly with the government to the role, having served on the former State Authorities Superannuation Board.

He has hosted the Real Estate Institute of NSW’s (REINSW) inaugural Commercial Agent Summit, which took place this past November.

Johnston expects to make training and support a primary focus for the REINSW under his direction.

“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to lead the peak body for the industry in our state and to collaborate with the institutes across other jurisdictions to address the challenges and opportunities for people who work in real estate and for consumers too,” Johnston said.

“In 2024 and beyond, we intend to increase the scope of training and support we provide agents, including a renewed focus on commercial agent training for our members.

CBRE appoints new valuation leader

CBRE has appointed Stephen Thomas (pictured) to head its commercial valuation & advisory services business in Australia.

Thomas brings over 26 years of experience to the role most recently as CBRE’s national director of institutional valuations.

 In tandem, Kyle Richardson has been appointed to a new senior role as national director – government & specialisations to drive strategic opportunities in new market sectors while Jane Devereux will take on a newly created position as national director, commercial metro, valuation & advisory services.

 In his new role, Richardson will ensure greater alignment in CBRE’s government offering and oversee valuation & advisory services in communities & specialised assets, including retirement & healthcare, the living sector and residential development.

Meanwhile, Devereux will steer CBRE’s expanding activities in the commercial metro market, with a strong focus on platform, client delivery and performance.