Ms O’Connor’s comments came amid ongoing speculation that a number of AMP investors, such as UniSuper and Treasury Corporation, as well as listed peers Charter Hall, Dexus and Investa are running the ruler over the $7 billion AMP Capital Office Wholesale Office Fund.
Despite the chatter, Ms O’Connor said major investors were sticking with the business and current management.
“We’ve continue to have a really high level of support from our investor base”.
“Investors can at any time move to change the manager, they can absolutely do that. That is not the message that we’ve received from investors,” Ms O’Connor said.
“We always need to listen to what the investors are asking for…but I have to say that we’ve continued to have a really high level of support from our investor base.”
Investment bank Jarden has been appointed to advise AMP on the options available for the real estate business. AMP last year appointed an independent panel for a strategic review of the sought-after global real estate platform.
AMP Capital’s real estate portfolio includes the wholesale office fund, which has continued to perform well despite the pandemic, as well as the AMP Capital Diversified Property Fund (ACDPF) and the shopping centre fund.
“We always need to listen to what the investors are asking for and wanting and making sure that we act in their best interest all the time. But I have to say that we’ve continued to have a really high level of support from our investor base.”
Ms O’Connor was appointed to lead its real estate business in August last year after the departure of Carmel Hourigan to rival Charter Hall.
Under her banner sits many well-known properties including Sydney’s Quay Quarter office and retail complex at Circular Quay and shopping malls Macquarie Centre, in Sydney and Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast.
Ms O’Connor added the management has strong governance in place to ensure any approaches are assessed with the best interest of unitholders in mind at all times.
Meanwhile, an independent process is already underway to assess an offer that has been made by Dexus for the diversified property fund. Ms O’Connor said that no decision had been made on that pitch, as yet.
“That’s continuing and the independent board committee are opining on the proposal that has been put forward,” Ms O’Connor said.
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Carolyn Cummins is Commercial Property Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.
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