Quay Global Investors (Quay) is a boutique investment manager focused on the preservation and creation of wealth through innovative strategies in real estate securities.
Quay was launched in May 2015 as a partnership with principals Justin Blaess and Chris Bedingfield and Bennelong. Prior to this, the business operated as Quay Real Estate Advisors which was founded by Justin and Chris in 2013.
The founding partners have over 40 years of collective experience in direct property, equities research, investment banking and investment management across domestic and global markets, giving them a unique skill set and perspective which they bring to the management of a portfolio of global real estate securities.
The Quay edge:
- Total return focused.
- Have diverse and deep experiences.
- Come from analytical and research based backgrounds.
- Have proper alignment with investors.
- Use a disciplined and repeatable investment process.
- Combine the skills and experiences of dual portfolio managers.
Justin Blaess Principal & Portfolio Manager
Justin has a broad and extensive background in investment management, investment banking and equities research. Prior to co-founding Quay, Justin was part of Deutsche Bank's real estate investment banking team in Australia. His corporate finance experience, including a prior role at Merrill Lynch, extend to equity and equity-linked capital markets transactions, M&A and debt arrangement, incorporating involvement in cross border real estate transactions between Australia and the US, Hong Kong, UK, Singapore and Brazil.
Prior to Deutsche Bank, Justin was employed at ING Investment Management in Sydney where he was responsible for the portfolio management of all INGIM's (global and Australian) listed real estate portfolios, with in excess of A$2bn of assets under management. During this period, Justin delivered a track record of peer-leading returns recognised by various industry awards.
He also spent six years in equities research until 2003 where, together with Chris, they established and managed the top rated real estate research team within the equities division of Deutsche Bank.
Chris Bedingfield Principal & Portfolio Manager
Chris has over 21 years experience working as a real estate specialist with a background in investment banking and equities research. Prior to co-founding Quay, Chris was in the Real Estate Investment Banking group at Credit Suisse in Sydney and previously Head of Real Estate Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank.
In prior roles, Chris led real estate equities research teams at Deutsche Bank, HSBC James Capel and ANZ McCaughan.
He is experienced in equity and equity-linked capital markets transactions, M&A and debt issuance, with direct involvement in numerous cross border real estate transactions between Australia and the USA, Europe, Japan, UK, Brazil and Singapore.
Chris has also led many large and transformational transactions for clients including Westfield, GDI Property Group, Tishman Speyer, Dexus, Morgan Stanley, Macquarie Bank, Mirvac Group, Principal and Colonial First State.
Ninus Kanna Senior Investment Analyst
Ninus has 10 years’ experience including investment management and stock broking as an equity research analyst. Most recently, he was employed by NSW Ministry of Health as Principal Financial Analyst, where he provided financial advice and analysis on a range of issues impacting the NSW health sector.
Previous to that, he worked as an Investment Analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets covering listed real estate. Ninus has also worked alongside Quay Principal and Portfolio Manager, Justin Blaess, as Assistant Portfolio Manager at ING Investment Management within the real estate securities team. Prior to this, he worked at Merrill Lynch and Morningstar.
Ninus has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University.
Quay defines investment success as achieving a real increase in an investor's purchasing power over time. Benchmarking to an index or the cash rate does not guarantee or focus on this outcome; benchmarking to a margin over inflation can achieve this outcome.
The team believes real estate is well positioned to deliver attractive after inflation returns to investors. Rental growth is often anchored to inflation; moreover, the underlying value of real estate is often referenced to 'replacement cost' which increases in line with construction costs over time.
Fundamentally, real estate values are driven by 'real' interest rates, changes in replacement costs and capital required to maintain or enhance an asset's competitive position. In the short term, however, real estate prices often move due to 'noise'.
Real estate pricing is inherently pro-cyclical. This is because the valuation process, which generally drives purchasing outcomes, often refers to comparable transactions meaning ever higher pricing can be justified in a rising market and lower pricing in a falling market. This accentuates the peaks and troughs of the real estate cycle.
Quay believes that in order to add value, the investment process should focus on total returns, not relative returns, and therefore invest through the cycle with the addition of select counter-cyclical opportunities as they arise.
The Quay Global Real Estate Fund (the Fund) invests in a number of global listed real estate companies, groups and funds. The investment strategy is to invest in real estate securities at a price that will deliver a real, after inflation, total return of 5% p.a. or greater (before costs and fees), inclusive of distributions through the cycle.
The investment strategy is indifferent to the constraints of any index benchmarks and is relatively concentrated in its number of investments. However, it is sufficiently diversified to ensure the portfolio is not overly correlated to a single entity, specific sector, industry or macro economic risk.
Quay believes the best investment propositions over time come from specialised entities with sustainable and growing incomes, and seek to avoid companies that supplement significant amounts of income from development and sales activities, and/or have unattractive capital structures.
Their investment process employs quantitative, qualitative and fundamental research and analysis methodologies, as well as drawing on the team’s considerable experiences to identify those investment opportunities in the global universe best placed to satisfy the investment strategy of the Fund.
Importantly, this process is also iterative and opportunities selected for investment are continually reassessed and compared to new opportunities that arise. A focus on risk management is embedded in each stage of the investment process and care is also taken to understand the inter-relationships of stocks within the portfolio.
Strong and disciplined risk management is a key attribute of Quay's investment management process and is embedded into each stage of the process. Portfolio decisions are the responsibility of both portfolio managers and the preservation of capital over time is a central focus.
Quay principally seeks to manage risk by finding the best value investment opportunities with robust balance sheets, strong management, sustainable business models operating in markets with demographic and/or economic tailwinds. Investment positions will vary in size according to the level of conviction of portfolio managers, implied portfolio risk and hard risk limits. Portfolio stress testing and optimisation is conducted on a regular basis, and in the absence of compelling opportunities the Fund may increase its cash holding.