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Blue Sky appoints new permanent CEO

The Brisbane-based asset manager has appointed Joel Cann as CEO, who most recently oversaw a restructure at ASX-listed holiday park operator Aspen Group.

Blue Sky Alternative Investments has appointed Joel Cann as its permanent chief executive officer.

Cann takes over the role on April 15, with executive chairman Andrew Day reverting to the role of non-executive chairman.

Cann was most recently CEO of ASX-listed holiday park operator Aspen Group. He was appointed to lead the Sydney-headquartered firm in September 2016 with a remit to restructure the group and its portfolio.

In a statement to shareholders, Blue Sky said Cann had “successfully executed” a revised acquisition strategy at Aspen while restructuring the organisation and its operational capacity.

Prior to his role at Aspen, Cann was the founding managing director of AMB Capital Partners in Sydney, a property-focused private investment company. He has also held senior roles at ING Group, JPMorgan and Aberdeen Asset Management.

“I am looking forward to rebuilding market confidence in the [Blue Sky’s] ability to drive strong returns for its investors. In the short term, the priorities are to continue to strengthen business processes while building solid momentum in the company’s core business units,” Cann said.

The appointment represents the completion of the restructuring of Blue Sky’s leadership team, with five new directors appointed to the board in H1 2019. The appointments included former Hastings Funds Management CEO Day as chairman, Andrew Werro in the newly created role of chief risk officer and Elizabeth Walker as chief financial officer.

Oaktree Capital managing director Byron Beath also joined the board as a non-executive director following Oaktree’s injection of funds into Blue Sky in 2018.

Blue Sky last month announced that it was in discussions with the US-based firm “with a view to negotiating a variation and/or restructure of the covenants to Oaktree’s satisfaction”, after revealing that it may not meet its lending covenants to Oaktree in the quarter ending March 31, 2019.

As part of Blue Sky’s restructure, Kim Morison has stepped back from his role as interim CEO of the group to again head up Blue Sky’s real assets business.

Blue Sky’s real assets business is working on plans to launch a new institutional agricultural fund this year.