The CEO Magazine caught up with Michael to discuss how he turned a struggling property group into one of the top 50 stocks by market capitalisation. Michael says he drew on his 30 years of experience in real estate investment when he joined GPT in 2009.
"I have an interesting background because I'm a chartered accountant and I have a long history of finance-type roles. I spent 10 years in groups like CBA and 10 years in Lend Lease. I find not all property people have an understanding of banking and not all banking people have an understanding of property, so it was just by coincidence that I happen to have a decade of experience in each of those areas."
"This is important because in 2009 we were at a critical point of the GFC, and most of the Australian property companies, similar to the rest of the world, were in a bit of a crisis. For us, it was very much a clean-up phase, and a lot of that clean-up involved removing debt, selling assets, and getting out of parts of the business that weren't performing well. Since I'd had that experience with both the banking and the property sectors, it was easier to do what we needed to do. It was really a turnaround story."