KPMG Australia has acquired chartered building and environmental firm, SGA Property Consultancy to capitalise on “surging” international investor interest in Australian real estate.

A media statement today (Thursday) from the newly merged firm, to be known as KPMG SGA, did not disclose details of the deal. It said that SGA, with a team of 65 people located in seven offices across Australia and offshore, had been growing strongly on the back of transactions-based technical due diligence work, as well as “notable performance” from its compliance and environmental divisions.

SGA managing director, David Myers will join KPMG Australia as one of four new partners of the firm, including SGA founder, Stephen Allan; Bruce Corrin and David Mansfield.

“We are experiencing strong growth in Malaysian and Singaporean based projects, while locally, we are consulting to a significant and rapidly growing number of inbound Asian investors, including Chinese,” Mr Myers said.

“Chinese investors view Australia as a safe haven for investment. They are investing in premium property, albeit often on a tighter yield than other markets. Our work involves assessing existing properties for these clients, as well as undertaking risk analysis on redeveloping commercial property for residential use.”

Chief executive of KPMG Australia Gary Wingrove SGA was one of KPMG’s largest domestic acquisitions.

The move follows Ernst & Young’s acquisition of Terence Jeyaretnam’s Net Balance consultancy in August in a move that boosted its sustainability consulting from 40 to about 100 people in major Australian cities.

See our article, Ernst & Young prepares for growth with Net Balance acquisition