Australian property lender MaxCap expands into New Zealand

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Australian specialist property financier MaxCap Group has expanded into New Zealand with ambitions to dominate the country’s non-bank commercial real estate lending space.

The Melbourne-based firm has opened an office in Auckland, as part of a joint venture with Bayley Corporation and investment advisory firm Forsyth Barr, MaxCap announced.

The JV has appointed Mark Farrands as MaxCap NZ CIO, bringing more than 27 years’ experience in real estate finance and valuations to the role. Prior to joining, Farrands was the Auckland regional manager, property finance at ASB Bank.

“Our objective is to become New Zealand’s premier non-bank commercial real estate lender focusing particularly on property development projects as well as investment funding,” said MaxCap co-founder and CIO Brae Sokolski.

“Bayley’s will be assisting us with originating lending opportunities through its far-reaching network and client base across New Zealand. We will also be looking to access Kiwi currency funding sources, focusing initially on high net worth private investors utilising Forsyth Barr’s considerable expertise and experience in wealth management.”

Bayley’s managing director Mike Bayley said commercial property funding from retail banks was currently limited.

“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,” he said.

Bayley’s and Forsyth Barr will own 50% of MaxCap NZ between them. Last month, MaxCap teamed up with Dutch pension fund APG to invest A$600m into Australian real estate debt.

MaxCap Group currently has A$4.1bn of funds under management. It has originated and managed about A$7.7bn worth of loans since it was established 13 years ago.