Commercial property focus for new non-bank lender

Friday 30 August 2019

There’s a new commercial property non-bank lender on the block after two New Zealand property and investment heavyweights joined up with an Australian property finance company.

By The Landlord

Melbourne-based MaxCap Group has just opened an Auckland office in a joint venture with real estate company Bayley Corporation and investment advisory firm Forsyth Barr.

The new venture aims to fill a gap in the market created by New Zealand banks’ tightening up on lending for commercial property.

MaxCap Group co-founder Brae Sokolski says their objective is to become New Zealand’s premier non-bank commercial real estate lender.

They will have a particular focus on property development projects and investment funding for $3 million-plus property transactions, he says.

Bayleys and Forsyth Barr will own 50% of MaxCap NZ between them.

While Bayleys will supply clients looking for finance for property development deals, Forsyth Barr will source wealthy private investors and wholesale institutional investors looking for alternative investments.

Bayleys’ managing director Mike Bayley says their involvement has been driven by current limitations on commercial property funding from retail banks.

“These limitations are, at times, having a negative effect on market activity and are a source of frustration for clients, particularly developers who play a vital role in creating new leasing and investment opportunities.

“It has prompted us to look for alternative sources of finance for clients. MaxCap NZ will be taking a relatively conservative approach but it will be able to offer more flexibility in its funding and consider more complex deals.”

For Forsyth Barr co-head of markets, Jonty Edgar, the venture will provide their wholesale and institutional clients with more commercial property investment options.

“We have been looking to diversify our offerings in the property sector, driven by private investor demand for alternative investments with higher yields and attractive risk-reward dynamics. This enables us to do that.”

“MaxCap has a well-established track record in Australia for their rigorous approach to risk management. They have a history of returning full principal and interest to all of their investors and delivering on terms issued to borrowers.”

Since MaxCap Group was established 13 years ago it has originated and managed approximately A$7.7 billion worth of loans. It currently has approximately A$4.0 billion of funds under management.

Sokolski says they obtain and actively manage the funds used to provide finance via a variety of sources built up over many years.

These range from high net worth individuals through to large institutional investors, including major superannuation and pension funds.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand venture is already well advanced in negotiations on funding for a number of land development deals in Auckland and Queenstown.

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