REGIONAL INVESTING: Collective strength

Quayside Holdings

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Ki te Kotahi te kākaho, ka whati;
ki te kāpuia, e kore e whati.
If a reed stands alone, it can be broken;
if it is in a group, it cannot.
This whakataukī (Māori proverb) encapsulates the power of collective strength, a philosophy that underpins Quayside Holdings way of working as they look to the future.

As the commercial investment arm of Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Quayside’s primary function is to deliver sustainable long-term returns to its shareholder, through responsible asset management. It’s a structure, where Quayside invests on behalf of the Council, providing an annual shareholder dividend and retaining a portion for growth capital.

How it delivers and who’s behind this small but mighty machine has largely remained a mystery in years gone by. But that is changing.

Key ingredients of a high-performing team

CEO, Lyndon Settle has brought a renewed focus on collaborative working. With a multi-disciplinary team of specialists in their field including, investment managers, chartered accountants, engineers, lawyers, people and culture specialists and marketers – the knowledge and experience is unyielding. Lyndon’s ability to influence, motivate and enable others to collectively contribute towards a shared vision and purpose, has been the catalyst to this inclusive way of working.

“We support our people to be curious, creative and think outside the box. Bold initiatives live alongside radical candour in this niche environment. This takes the form of brave, open and respectful conversations, where we strive to listen to understand, rather than defend. Working in silos can create bias and limit our opportunity to see new perspectives whereas collaboration fosters innovation, forcing us to expand our thinking and look to the periphery, which is crucial in today’s competitive environment,” says Lyndon.

Davide Caloni as the General Manager – Finance for Quayside Group, is a pivotal member of the Senior Leadership Team, playing a multifaceted role heading the finance and treasury functions and supporting the execution of the investment strategies. As the head of finance and treasury functions, Davide is at the forefront of ensuring the Group’s financial health and statutory obligations are met and optimised, managing tax obligations, project accounting, and providing specialist advice on investment and divestment opportunities across various asset classes.

Davide creates enterprise value by analysing cash and debt management practices and existing assets and investments, which form the foundation for accurate forecasting and portfolio modelling. He also is leading Quayside’s XRB climate-related reporting.

Sam Newbury, Senior Investment Manager, brings a wealth of experience in corporate finance and portfolio management to his six-year tenure at Quayside. Whilst Sam plays a key role in setting investment strategy, deal execution and asset management, Sam views his role as more of a project management function.

Sam notes “In my mind, being an effective investment advisor for a portfolio like Quayside’s is very similar to project management. Whilst a detailed understanding of each asset class is essential, it is almost impossible to do effectively without input from a deep bench of both internal and external experts.”

Sam’s professional skills encompass a deep understanding of investment products, corporate finance, and investments. His core competencies revolve around strategic planning, financial analysis, deal sourcing and execution, and effective stakeholder engagement, with a strong passion for creating value through sustainable and innovative businesses that contribute to both social and environmental well-being.

Bound by good intentions

Whether it’s pursuing a new investment opportunity or managing an existing asset, the adage of ‘many hands, make light work’ is true. But ask the team if it’s seamless and they’ll openly tell you there’s always room for improvement. What binds them is a genuine intent to do right by the organisation, its shareholder and the wider community.

Quayside has a wide investment mandate, across different asset classes. Deals can originate through anyone in the wider team, with the initial review, research and early screening of the opportunity being led by the Investment team.

As they move into the due diligence stage, it’s about understanding the risks associated with the asset. This is undertaken by both internal and external technical expertise, including finance, legal, tax and property, depending on the asset.

“Having three in-house engineers is a huge point of difference and competitive advantage for Quayside when investing in real estate-backed assets and strategies. While it isn’t usual practice for an investment company it provides significant value when looking at opportunities. We’re privileged to be able to call on our property team for advice, especially when reviewing technical due diligence property reports,” says Sam.

The execution of Quayside’s strategy forms the core of their collaboration. Within the Finance team this can include general capital budgeting, forecasting, valuations and ongoing asset monitoring. With the legal team providing another lens and layer of value.

“Having Suzanne Casey as our in-house legal counsel is incredibly valuable, as it allows us to lean on her for support with both transactions and asset management. Having someone of her expertise and skill sets provides the whole team with the ability to access good legal advice and commercial support in real-time reducing the need for the business to rely on costly external lawyers, likewise with Davide’s experience, he understands what best-practice and good fund management looks like. You also get a calm and practical approach from our team, with the ability to work through problems.” Sam says.

Partnering for success

2023 has brought a couple of major investments to fruition. In September, Quayside announced its stake in Tauranga Crossing Limited, a premier retail shopping centre situated in the expanding Tauranga Western Corridor. The investment provides consistent and stable distributions to the portfolio, whilst growing the asset base.

Shortly followed the announcement of the joint venture partnership with Watts & Hughes and Carrus in the 35 Hamilton Street Commercial Centre building. Both investments demonstrate a desire for large-scale co-investment partners, where there is alignment in values and mutually beneficial skill sets and positive outcomes that provide intergenerational prosperity for the Bay of Plenty region.

Related: Revitalising Tauranga: Quayside’s Strategic CBD Partnership

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