ALE Property Group has announced corporate real estate veteran Guy Farrands will replace Andrew Wilkinson as its CEO.
Farrands previously led residential developer GEO Property Group and real estate fund manager Valad Property Group.
ALE is Australia’s largest listed pub landlord, with its 86 pubs leased to Woolworths-backed operator ALH.
The Board of ALE announced in August last year that it was undertaking a search to identify a replacement for Wilkinson, who has led the property trust since 2003.
During his 16-year tenure Wilkinson oversaw a growth in ALE’s market capitalisation from $91 million to more than $1 billion, delivering a total return of around 20% per annum.
Farrands will join ALE as a consultant from May 20, 2020. He will be providing consultancy and advisory services to Wilkinson and the Board, prior to Wilkinson stepping down as CEO and Managing Director, which is anticipated to take place in the first quarter of FY 2021.
The Board said it welcomed Farrands and expects that he will make a valuable contribution to ALE with the experience and perspectives he has gained during an extensive executive career, spanning a range of leadership and governance roles in the property sector.
Farrands said: “I am enthusiastic about joining ALE Property Group and building on the very solid foundations of the business. This is undoubtedly a pivotal moment in the history of the group with the imminent completion of the 2018 rent determination processes establishing the framework for the group to realise its significant future growth potential.
“I look forward to working alongside Andrew and the Board during the planned transition period.”
Robert Mactier, Chairman of ALE, added: “We are delighted to have secured an executive with Guy’s extensive background and leadership experience in the property sector to lead ALE during its next period of growth.
“We are particularly grateful to Andrew for his very significant contribution to ALE over the many years he has been the Company’s CEO and Managing Director.
“Since Andrew advised the Board of his desire to step down he has continued to work in a very diligent, measured and effective manner for the benefit of ALE and its security holders. As we would all expect of Andrew he has also assured us that he will remain very accessible, available and committed to support Guy and the Board during the transition period.”
ALH was due to be spun off from Woolworths Group as part of a new $10 billion hotel, gaming and drinks company, however Woolworths has postponed the Endeavour Group demerger until 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis and the national shutdown of hotels.