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Dexus appoints Ross Du Vernet as new CEO amid sector challenges

EditorHari G
Published 12/10/2023, 09:42 PM
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SYDNEY - Dexus, a leading Australian real estate investment trust, announced today the appointment of Ross Du Vernet as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective March 2024. Du Vernet, who has over 20 years of industry experience, will succeed Darren Steinberg, who has been at the helm since 2012. The transition comes at a time when the sector is grappling with high interest rates and volatile market conditions.

Under Steinberg's leadership, Dexus saw a significant transformation in its portfolio, with funds under management growing from $12.9 billion to an impressive $61 billion. This growth was partly due to strategic diversification efforts post-pandemic, including a pivot from traditional office spaces to infrastructure expansion and entry into growing markets such as healthcare real estate. Notable acquisitions during his tenure include the $4 billion Commonwealth Property Office Fund and Jandakot Airport's industrial estate for logistics growth. The company also diversified into renewable energy sectors by taking over AMP (OTC:AMLTF) Capital’s portfolio.

Du Vernet's appointment was announced following an extensive global search conducted throughout 2023 by Dexus's board and executive leadership team. Warwick Negus, speaking on behalf of the board, praised Du Vernet's deep industry knowledge and strategic acumen. In his previous role as Chief Investment Officer at Dexus and during his tenure at Commonwealth Bank, Du Vernet contributed significantly to strategy delivery and developed unique platform capabilities.

The announcement of Du Vernet taking over as CEO was met with a positive reaction from investors, reflected in a 7.47% increase in Dexus's share price post-announcement. This uptick comes despite the broader challenges faced by the sector, which have led to a sustained discount on the company's shares.

Dexus's strategic shift under Steinberg has set a strong foundation for future growth, with Du Vernet expected to continue steering the company towards its vision of becoming an Australasian leader in real assets. The leadership change aligns with sector-wide trends where companies like GPT, Lendlease, Stockland, Scentre Group, Mirvac, and Growthpoint have seen new CEOs take charge while Charter Hall's David Harrison and Goodman Group's Greg Goodman maintain long-term leadership roles.

Du Vernet will assume his new position with a yearly salary of $1.5 million, bringing his extensive experience to guide Dexus through the challenging transition period ahead for the real estate investment sector.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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