It’s a sad week for women at property’s top end, with Investa Office Fund manager Ming Long announcing she’s leaving the same day as a replacement for outgoing Grocon chief executive Carolyn Viney was found.
Both women have said they are leaving to “pursue other opportunities”.
Ms Long said it was “a privilege” to be IOF’s fund manager leading a team that delivered consistently strong unit holder returns.
“After 11 years at Investa, I have decided it is the most appropriate time to pursue other opportunities. I wish IOF and Investa’s staff every success for the future.”
Ms Long was a keen advocate of sustainability in the property industry as well as a vocal supporter of diversity and the Male Champions of Change within the industry.
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Her departure comes amid turmoil at Investa, with a $2.5 billion takeover proposal from DEXUS failing last week. Ms Long was said to have been supportive of the takeover bid, according to The Australian Financial Review.
The news also comes just days after the independent directors of Investa Listed Funds Management Limited, which is the responsible entity of Investa Office Fund, resigned.
Complicating matters and casting the DEXUS play to the sidelines was the move by Cromwell Property Group to buy 10 per cent of the company, which placed the 75 per cent ownership of IOF of DEXUS’ reach. The AFR dubbed the play “the biggest and most fiercely contested corporate play in local real estate since the Westfield restructure”.
Deborah Page, Peter Rowe and Dr Peter Dod had been directors on ILFML since July 2011, and too were supportive of the DEXUS bid, according to The Australian. Their resignation follows the appointment of an additional four independent directors – Messrs Richard Longes, Robert Seidler, John Fast and Geoff Kleemann – to the board last week.
Ms Page said: “It has been a privilege to chair the responsible entity of IOF, which is now wholly invested in high quality Australian office assets. I thank my fellow independent directors for their outstanding contribution, support and professionalism.”