New hires boost Plenary’s Asia presence and Australia property capabilities

NewsNew hires boost Plenary’s Asia presence and Australia property capabilities
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Asia and M.East

Asia and Middle EastCorporate

17 May 2021

SINGAPORE and SYDNEY – Plenary Group has increased its presence in Asia and bolstered its integrated property capabilities with new hires in Singapore and Sydney.

Oliver Barbagallo has joined the Singapore team as Executive Director, Asia and Chi-Ling Looi has been promoted to a Director on the board of Plenary’s Asian business.

Oliver joins from Macquarie Capital where he worked for five years as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Delivery, Macquarie Projects based in Singapore. He is now responsible for originating infrastructure development opportunities and leading Plenary’s bid teams for projects across Asia and the Middle East.

Ms Looi retains oversight of Plenary’s Asian operations and project pursuits.

In Sydney, Plenary has significantly added to its existing property capabilities, taking on a four-person team – executive directors George Rolfe and Tom Roche, director Jon Kavali and senior origination manager Zac Freeburn – to focus on infrastructure-related property opportunities.

They join Plenary with more than 80 years of combined experience across integrated property origination and delivery, most recently leading John Holland Group’s property team.

The team has particularly strong experience in transport-related developments, including the Waterloo Metro Quarter project, an integrated station development that is part of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project.

Plenary Chief Executive Officer David Lamming welcomed the new starters, saying he was excited for what this means for Plenary’s ability to pursue project opportunities in Asia and in the Australian integrated property space as the company enters its next phase of growth.

“There is an increasing pipeline of infrastructure opportunities coming in Asia, and we see ourselves playing in this market by effectively deploying our exemplary infrastructure development and investment skills from Australia and North America in a way that also capitalises on the strength of our local relationships,” Mr Lamming said.

“With a focus on pandemic recovery, and with burgeoning middle classes, parts of Asia are increasingly demanding better infrastructure, which will in turn drive investment.

“Post-pandemic we’re seeing opportunities in the transport sectors, smart street lighting, waste to energy, and a lot of interest in health and aged care.

“For example, Indonesia and the Philippines are looking to attract private capital to help address their public infrastructure deficit, and Vietnam and Thailand are becoming increasingly open to foreign-investment.

“In Australia, the additions to the team mean we are now more able to pursue integrated transport development opportunities, as well as the various integrated precinct opportunities where we’ll see a hybrid of infrastructure and related property development.

“These opportunities are a natural fit with our infrastructure activities, and we’ll be looking to pursue them in addition to our existing property-related activities, such as social housing, projects in the university sector, and the work that our Pariter business is doing in partnership with sporting and community clubs and associations.

“While public infrastructure development and investment remains at the core of what we’re looking to do, these additional activities will enhance our ability to effectively respond to the natural relationship that exists between infrastructure and property.

“It’s an exciting time for us as we look to move into the next phase of our growth and development.”

Plenary’s business in Asia Pacific has now grown to more than 140 professionals across offices in Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Chris Whitefield

Executive Director, Communications and Community

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