5 minutes with… Michael Nitschke, MaxCap Group Investment Director, QLD
We spent 5 minutes with Michael to hear about his journey in Queensland’s property industry.
How did you get involved in the development industry?
My first involvement in the development industry was through my role at NAB in Melbourne. The first project I was involved in was Eureka Tower, so definitely thrown in at the deep end! The transaction was absolutely ground breaking for Melbourne, and has stood the test of time. It was a fantastic transaction from a learning perspective, an experience I thoroughly enjoyed, and my development journey was underway.
Whilst it will be hard to top the Eureka transaction, working on Brookfield’s takeover of Multiplex was also a highlight. Multiplex was such a strong business, so the injection of the additional might and global expertise of Brookfield was, and has been, an amazing success.
What inspires you?
New challenges and building relationships. I’ve been very fortunate to learn my craft from some extremely talented business leaders. Whilst they all had different strengths, they also had consistencies, particularly around challenging the best way to deliver outcomes.
I’ve been equally fortunate to have met and worked with some fantastic developers across the breadth of the country. Being able to build trust, respect and even friendships with these developers is something that I hope will endure well beyond our relationship as financier and borrower.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career?
Honesty and openness build trust and respect and delivers the best mutual outcomes. Within complex development transactions there are always going to be moving pieces that impact the project and partner agreements. Having a relationship based on full transparency is critical to being able to manage these inevitable bumps along the road quickly and efficiently without them turning into issues.
What advice would you give to young professionals starting in the industry?
My advice to young professionals entering any new industry is to ask a lot of questions. Development transactions can be highly structured with a number of moving parts. It is therefore imperative that you ask a lot of questions and ensure you take any opportunity to spend time with experienced operators in the industry. The property industry has great industry organisations that deliver these opportunities as well as formal training.
Where do you see the property development industry in the next 10 years?
My hope is that the development industry continues to make efficiency gains regarding planning processes and financing markets.
There continues to be innovation in the industry across materials, delivery processes, use of technology as some examples. I would love to think that our planning frameworks are equally able to innovate and drive a continual improvement mantra.
The finance landscape is moving away from the heavy reliance on the major banks, which I believe is very healthy for the industry. Having a market that is efficient in providing full cycle financing, creating greater certainty and confidence to developers that they will have support to from project to project even during changing market conditions.
Tell us about the latest trends in the industry
The growing importance of green and liveability standards of projects is something to monitor. With a growing spotlight on sustainability across all industries, the ability to meet these standards and set new industry standards for development will have a strong bearing on the success of projects and developers.