QIC appoints global real estate head

— 1 minute read

Queensland Investment Corporation has picked a new managing director for its global real estate division.

Michael O'Brien

Michael O’Brien will be taking on the role, replacing former managing director Steve Leigh as he retires.

Mr O’Brien is currently CFO of Vicinity Centres, Australia’s second largest listed manager of retail property, with responsibility for the investment strategy for an integrated asset management platform.


In this key leadership position at QIC, Mr O’Brien will report to QIC’s CEO Damien Frawley, serve on the QIC Executive Committee, and lead a team of more than 500 people globally managing 50 assets.

David Asplin, QIC GRE chief operating officer, has been appointed acting managing director of QIC GRE during the leadership transition.

“Michael has a distinguished, 30-year real estate career and an impressive record of accomplishment in shopping centre management and development, real estate funds management and finance,” Damien Frawley, CEO, QIC, said.

“His leadership qualities and market acumen will ensure that our real estate platform continues to deliver strong investment returns, building on the outstanding track record of Steve Leigh and QIC GRE.”

In the past, Mr O’Brien was the chief investment officer at Vicinity along with having held senior investment and operational roles with Vicinity Centres, GPT Group and Lend Lease Corporation.

While at Vicinity Centres, he has been responsible for the organisation’s finance, investment management and capital transactions, as well as its wholesale funds and strategic partnerships business.

In his most recent role, he led the investment strategy for a retail portfolio with a significant pipeline of mixed-use development, similar to that of QIC.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr O’Brien said: “I am delighted to join QIC and assume responsibility for QIC’s global real estate platform.

“It will be a privilege to lead a world-class team of real estate specialists with significant operational and investment management expertise which has delivered strong investment returns for QIC’s clients.

“QIC’s heritage, track record, and well-deserved reputation among clients and counterparties, provides a strong foundation for future performance through both cyclical and systemic market changes.”

QIC’s real estate portfolio is currently valued at approximately A$22.4 billion (US$15.7 billion) as at 31 December 2018.


QIC appoints global real estate head
Michael O'Brien
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Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth. 

Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio. 

You can contact her on [email protected].

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