Pareto has a directly-held property portfolio worth R20 billion. It is owned by the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and operates under the mandate of the PIC. The PIC's directly held property assets are worth about R10 billion.
"Mowana Properties is a milestone move for us and has been more than a year in the making. It is part of a bigger strategic move to bring property management in-house and play a more active role in the transformation of the property sector," says Pareto CEO, Marius Muller.
Muller explains: "Besides Pareto's own directly held portfolio of seven prized properties, this new property management company will manage the PIC's directly held property assets, which are made up of 181 retail, office and industrial properties across the country. Effectively, the property management of the PIC's R10 billion directly held property portfolio has been outsourced to the new company, Mowana, as of 1 December 2015."
The board of Pareto approved the deal and establishment of the new company, which is solely owned by Pareto. Mowana will operate as a separate entity to house all property management and will have its own CEO and board. Kevin Roman, Pareto's Chief Operations Officer and a property industry specialist with more than two decades of experience in the sector, has been appointed CEO of Mowana. Pareto chairman Saul Gumede has been appointed chairman of Mowana, while Muller is an executive director.
"Roman has extensive industry experience, especially in the property services and management side of the sector. He has been in the property industry for 25 years and at Pareto as its COO since July 2014. In the broader sector, he has served as National President of the South African Property Owners' Association; former Chairman of the successful Cape Town Partnership; and, was Chairman of SA Corporate Real Estate Fund. Roman is also currently a Director on the Board of the SA Council of Shopping Centres," says Muller.
"Together with Gumede as chairman, Mowana has a strong leadership team in place. The insourcing and establishment of the new company will take some time to settle, but is expected to deliver positive results. As part of the deal, the PIC's property management staff of 118 are being transferred to the new Pareto company through Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act. Mowana will have a workforce of 338 staff, together with the transfer of staff from the PIC and Pareto Property Management," he adds.
Commenting on his appointment and the new company, Roman says: "This is an exciting new venture and I am looking forward to the challenge. As a new vehicle, Mowana has been established to enable the company to be registered with the Estate Agents Affairs Board. All new directly held property acquisitions on the part of Pareto or the PIC will also fall under Mowana in terms of property management."
Pareto owns an unmatched portfolio of regional and super-regional shopping centres. Besides being the full owner of Cresta Shopping Centre, Southgate Mall and Value Market, and Westgate Regional Shopping Centre, all in Johannesburg; and Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in the East of Pretoria, it also wholly owns The Pavilion in Durban; and Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein. In Cape Town, Pareto co-owns Tyger Valley Shopping Centre. Pareto also holds 25% of Sandton City and its surrounding assets including three high-rise office blocks, the Sandton Convention Centre and three hotels: Sandton Sun, The InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers and Sandton Garden Court.