A new dawn – Simon Owen and Jim Hazel a step closer to reigniting the village sector. 2,281 ILU portfolio now profitable with cash to expand

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The first entrepreneurial force to be supported by the institutions Post GFC is gathering steam. Simon Owen’s internalisation of the management of the ING village portfolio is a step closer this week with the detail now being revealed. A basket case two years ago when Owen took over, he and his team have turned the heavy loss maker around. He tells us he has $9M cash profits from his rental villages, will release $36m in cash by converting rental ILU’s to DMF over the next 3 years and he has $30M in the bank for expansion. They may make the first distribution in 2012 to investors for many years. The super funds and other institutions this week gave support to Owen and his team to take over. It still has to go to a vote by investors in late May. Only a bidder with a large wallet would kill the deal.
The important thing here is that the retirement village sector has not had a positive ‘entrepreneurial’ business that big investors or banks would support since October 2008. Owen has grown the unit price of the ING village business 145% in just 12 months. By recruiting Jim Hazel to be his new Chairman, he has brought the most experienced corporate village manager to his team. He says that he and Jim Hazel are committed to building the best and most respected seniors Australian living community group. This will be Owen’s third outing. He took Aevum from 3 villages to 22 villages, and then he turned ING around.
The additional point to note is the youth he brings to the sector. Owen is now just 43 years old and he will promote Nikki Fisher – who he recruited from Westfield, and now aged 36 – to Chief Operations Officer. Tania Betts will be CFO.


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The Weekly SOURCE is the leading media for retirement living and aged care businesses, delivering sector-specific news through four mastheads. Operating as part of The DCM Group, The Weekly SOURCE also provides a directory of proven sector specialists and an insights exchange.