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Another step in the joining of KJA with ERM as Natalie Boyd appointed to the role of Managing Partner, KJA

Another step in the joining of KJA with ERM as Natalie Boyd appointed to the role of Managing Partner, KJA

Today, Paul Burke, ERM Managing Partner ANZ announced the appointment of KJA Executive Director Natalie Boyd to the newly created position of Managing Partner of KJA, a company purchased by ERM in November 2018.

Current Executive Chair Kathy Jones, who established KJA in 2001, will remain in the business as Founder, continuing to consult to clients and growing the business, position and brand in the market.

Paul Burke said that in her role as Managing Partner, Natalie will be responsible for continuing to drive the integration of KJA with ERM and grow the specialist business into a thriving practice serving clients across the world. The role aligns closely to ERM’s structure, which comprises a number of separate legal entities such as KJA and specific geographies managed by a senior ERM Partner.

Natalie has been with KJA for nine years, in senior roles including most recently Executive Practice Director. As a key member of the Leadership Team, Natalie has been part of driving a significant period of growth in revenue and clients. She has had a significant role in business development and successfully led a key business unit, as well as practice, innovation, marketing and organisational development. Her appointment represents a commitment to maintain KJA’s strong focus on excellent client service, quality products and the KJA team during the integration.

This appointment frees Kathy from day-to-day operational responsibilities to focus on the KJA/ERM business, employees and clients, many of whom she has personally advised over a number of years. She has a wealth of knowledge gained through 18 years of driving the business forward to share with Natalie and Paul.

Whilst the executive team all remain in place, there will be some transitioning of responsibilities. In her new role, Natalie will take responsibility for operations and the current executive team will report to her. Over time, Natalie will relinquish her role as Program Director of Community and Social infrastructure, for which KJA will shortly begin a recruitment process.

Current Executive Director Darryl Watkins will become Business Development Partner, supporting KJA Program Directors in reaching their budget targets, growing the KJA business in new geographic markets, as well as identifying and supporting joint KJA/ ERM opportunities. Darryl will also hand on his responsibilities as Program Director for Natural Resources and Energy in the next few months.

Both the KJA Founder and KJA Managing Partner will report to ANZ Managing Partner Paul Burke.

What’s the future of Build to Rent in Australia?

What’s the future of Build to Rent in Australia?

For the past year, the emerging Build to Rent (BtR) sector in Australia has received increased attention from policy makers and property correspondents. It was against that backdrop that KJA worked with the Committee for Sydney and Coronation Property to welcome Andy Leahy, a leading UK BtR specialist, to Sydney for a series of roundtable discussions with leading policy makers and sector stakeholders.

Andy Leahy is the Managing Director of Bespoke Property Consultants and advised the UK Government, led by former Prime Minister David Cameron, on policies that would help support the emergence of an institutionally-backed and professionally-run rental sector across the country. According to research by the British Property Federation, there are 142,999 BtR units either completed or planned in the UK currently, which constitutes a growth rate of around 600% since 2014.

During his time in Sydney, Andy presented at a BtR roundtable event for the Committee for Sydney and met key policy makers in the NSW Government, including Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes MP and the Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey MP. He also met private sector developers actively considering BtR opportunities and spoke to the Australian Financial Review and Fifth Estate.

In conversation with Fifth Estate Andy said: “Like London, Sydney is facing a challenge in meeting its housing need and BtR represents a new way of thinking about delivery to meet that need…It is good to see the emergence of BtR in Australia and I hope to play some small part in helping it grow and thrive in the coming years.”

KJA and others concerned with BtR are actively seeking to learn from some of the lessons emerging from the UK sector, particularly the tax and planning policy changes that were made between 2010 – 2017, that precipitated a 600% growth in the BtR sector. More growth in the UK sector is forecast as increasing numbers of people are priced out of home ownership.

The challenge of delivering high quality housing in light of growing demand is also a challenge in Australia and it is an issue that is at the forefront of the minds of policy makers in NSW. A rental sector in Sydney, that is punctuated by institutional investment, professional building management and maintenance services, as well as high design and construction quality, would help to meet that need.

Andy Leahy’s visit has helped focus the mind and establish what needs to be done now to deliver that.

 Could new digital platforms and gamification change engagement in Australia?

Could new digital platforms and gamification change engagement in Australia?

In August, KJA welcomed Savannah de Savary, CEO of Built-ID to discuss the role that technology in property (or PropTech) will play in shaping the future of community engagement in Australia.

In late 2018, London-based Savannah and her team launched the GiveMyView platform which has made a splash among local government policy-makers and property developers in the UK.

GiveMyView is a digital tool designed to increase engagement with groups that sit outside of the so-called ‘vocal minority’ that tend to be over-represented in public consultation exercises.

With a well-designed interface, geofencing and a gamification element, that allows residents can raise money for local charities by participating in a consultation programme, it has generated significant levels of engagement from young people and “hard to reach” groups in the community.

Keen to explore new engagement tools, KJA was pleased to organise a programme of meetings for Savannah with community engagement specialists in New South Wales and Victoria, as well as stakeholder groups including the Committee for Sydney. During her time in Australia, Savannah also gave an interview with Emma de Jager from the Fifth Estate about the gamification about the community engagement process.

Here is what our team learned during Savannah’s visit:

1. After some initial reluctance, developers in the UK are increasingly looking to use tools to engage with communities during the consultation programmes associated with Development Applications.

2. Digital engagement methodologies complement physical engagement methodologies. When it is commissioned, the GiveMyView tool can form part of a suite of engagement tools used during a campaign, and it can be more effective than traditional engagement approaches at reaching those who historically do not get involved.

3. Agencies in both NSW and Victoria are increasingly looking for ideas to reach those groups that they have found it difficult to engage with historically, including younger and culturally diverse audiences who Savannah and her team have successfully engaged with in the UK.

The KJA team consistently looks to learn from, and partner with, organisations that bring forward innovative engagement tools that can supplement the existing engagement methodologies we deploy on projects. Gamification is an area of methodological innovation that offers great potential to increase engagement with hard to reach groups, and one that we believe could be applied in physical engagement as well as digital engagement activities.

After a highly successful visit, everyone at KJA is looking forward to working with Savannah and the Built-ID team on a project soon.

Learnings from London:  Kathy on Property Council visit

Learnings from London: Kathy on Property Council visit

KJA’s Executive Chair, Kathy Jones, visited London last week to attend the Property Council of Australia’s study tour of the U.K. capital.

As part of the visit she attended two site visits at Canary Wharf in East London and Greenford Quay in West London. She also heard from The Honourable George Brandis QC, the High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom.

Here, Kathy provides five key learnings from her visit:

  1. Build to Rent is a distinct asset class. It refers to properties, in a development of more than 50 homes, that are built for the rental market, covenanted to stay for rent for at least 15 years and operated under a single, unified ownership.

  2. Build to Rent has momentum in London. The Greenford Quay site in Ealing will deliver almost 2,000 new homes and it was brought forward by Greystar who are the largest BTR operator in the US. Changes in the U.K. regulatory and tax environment have helped to attracted investment from big institutions which has been essential in the sector’s growth.

  3. BTR is not an affordable housing tenure, it is a commercially viable asset class that is now recognised as such in U.K. planning policy. Greystar, who have several projects in the UK, are delivering a return to their investors whilst also providing high-quality rental accommodation for those who want it in London. The Canary Wharf Estate will also now see BTR built for the first time which is only possible now as it is a commercially viable proposition.

  4. Modern methods of construction (MMC), including modular build, are being used to deliver housing more quickly in London, particularly on BTR schemes. This means communities are less inconvenienced as builds are much quicker and investors see quicker returns on their investment. It is win, win all round.

  5. As the High Commissioner said Brexit is an opportunity for the U.K. and Australia to strengthen our ties through trade and best practice sharing. For instance, on BTR, we can learn from the way the U.K. has encouraged the sector to grow and apply those learnings here in Australia. In the U.K. they are increasing keen to learn from our engagement practitioners on the tools and methodologies we use here, such as Citizens’ Commissions

Empowering Communities

Empowering Communities

Less than 30% of Aussies have at least some trust in federal parliament and business groups. So how can communities become empowered to better govern themselves and act on issues they care about?

That’s the challenge KJA’s Innovation Hub has given to four students from the University of Technology Sydney as part of the Faculty for Trans-disciplinary Innovation’s Industry Innovation Projects program.

The student team will be in the office on Tue 9 April so come and say hi! I’ll be supporting them through the process, connecting them with KJA staff and other stakeholders as they make sense of the challenge and prototype solutions.

In the meantime, check out a quick video from each member on who they are and why they took up KJA’s challenge:

·         Meet Nic

·         Meet Marissa

·         Meet Nusardel

·         Meet Sharon