Cromwell Confirms CEO Paul Weightman to Retire

18 December 2020

Real estate investor and manager, Cromwell Property Group has confirmed that Managing Director and CEO, Paul Weightman, is to retire effective 31 December 2020.

After a long battle with major shareholder ARA, which saw the Global Investment Group take a controlling stake in the business along with the appointment of 2 ARA aligned Directors, the new comes as no surprise.

Speculation of the imminent departure circulated in early December when it became clear that ARA successfully voted against all resolutions put forward by the Board, except the resolution to force a spill of the Board.

Nominations for the new Board members close on the 20th December and an EGM to elect the new Board has been set for the 12th February.

Cromwell Chair Ms Jane Tongs said, “Paul was one of the original founders of the business back in 1998 and his track record, as one of the longest serving CEOs of an ASX listed entity, is unparalleled.”

“On behalf of the Cromwell Board and Cromwell securityholders, I would like to acknowledge his longstanding contribution and thank him for his dedication and hard work over more than two decades,” she added.

Cromwell was established in 1998 when five professionals recapitalised a property syndicator called Westholme Limited and changed its name to Cromwell Corporation Limited. Twenty two years later, Cromwell has 460+ people across 28 offices in 14 countries and total assets under management of A$11.5 billion.

Recent analysis from Newscorp and investment management group Ausbil looked at the ASX300 over a twenty-year period from 2000 to November 2020. In a testament to its strong track record over the period, Cromwell was ranked sixth with a total return to securityholders of 4,000%, equivalent to an annualised return of 20.4%.

Cromwell CFO Michael Wilde has been appointed Acting CEO effective 1 January 2021.

“Over the last 22 years, I have always sought to stay true to our purpose ‘that we are here to look after people’. This has been tested as much this year by COVID-19 as it was back in 1998 when we saw an opportunity to start-up a real estate business that put people first,” said Mr Weightman.

“I’m proud that Cromwell has come through the pandemic and is continuing to operate successfully, particularly with the majority of its people working from home for most of the year.”

“It has been an honour and a privilege to have been CEO of a business that has delivered such strong returns over such a long timeframe. I would like to thank my fellow Directors, past and present, and everyone who has participated in the Cromwell journey over the last 22 years,” he added.

Incoming Acting CEO Michael Wilde commented, “With the clear support of the Cromwell Board and Cromwell securityholders, I look forward to continuing to execute on the exciting initiatives in our pipeline.”

“As at 30 September 2020, Cromwell had over A$610 million of cash and available undrawn facilities with no material debt maturing until FY23. The balance sheet is strong and all covenants have ample headroom. We are very well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that will present
themselves in calendar year 2021,” he concluded.