Rolling Start: Phil Pearce
Heading up a young company and also helping it find its feet in a sector filled with large and established players is an enormous challenge. However, this is precisely the task Phil Pearce embraced when he returned to Australia to launch the local arm of Hong Kong listed ESR Group.
ESR emerged as a major force in the pan-Asian logistics real estate industry after the 2016 merger between Chinese warehouse developer e-Shang and Singapore’s Redwood Group. The company has since rolled out its own combination of investment, fund management and development across Asia–Pacific. Two years into ESR’s lifespan, the decision was made to expand into the Australian market.
But, as Phil says, simply rolling up on Aussie shores to build the business from the ground up would have taken years, so a more strategic approach was necessary. “We had a choice,” he recalls. “Do we come down here and put an ESR flag in the ground and say, ‘Here we are? “In the initial years, it would have been quite difficult to attract people; it would have required some convincing to get on board, particularly since I’d been out of the local market for many years.”
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