CBRE appoints David Goodfellow as head of agribusiness

CBRE appoints Goodfellow to replace Danny Thomas, with a remit to expand CBRE’s offering and offer more consultancy services.

David Goodfellow

CBRE has appointed David Goodfellow as the new head of its Pacific Agribusiness – Capital Markets team.

Goodfellow will start on February 1, leading the firm’s agribusiness real estate agency in the region while expanding its capabilities to provide more consultancy services.

Goodfellow was previously chief executive at Rifa Salutary, Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets’ Paraway Pastoral Company and, most recently, AustOn Corporation, the Australia-based operating arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. He also served as group general manager of Elders Rural Services.

He left his role at AustOn in November 2019 to set up a new funds management business, The Clearbrook Group. Goodfellow told Agri Investor that Clearbrook would continue to operate and be run by a new executive who is yet to be appointed, as he shifts into a non-executive position.

Goodfellow said the primary focus of his new role would be CBRE’s core business of real estate agency but that the business sees an opportunity to expand the services it offers.

“A number of institutions now have quite substantial portfolios of properties in Australia and New Zealand, and there will be opportunities to look at those to help them understand what they need next, strategically, as they build those out further,” he said.

“I’ve had experience in building portfolios before, for Paraway, Rifa and AustOn, so I’ve got a bit to offer those investors regarding the strategic direction they should move in with their acquisitions strategies.”

The previous incumbent was Danny Thomas, who left CBRE in 2020, although it is understood that Goodfellow’s role is a somewhat expanded one.

On the prospects for the sector, Goodfellow said: “Clearly, the interest from investors is strong and has been for the last couple of years, and that’s going to continue at least for the next two to three years.

“With the breaking of the drought, people are now able to see more clearly what strategies are working and which may need to be refined a bit. With that confidence, we’re seeing people wanting to buy more properties that lend themselves to a bit of development so that they can then replicate what they’ve already achieved, or diversify to spread a bit of risk by doing things slightly differently.”

Covid-19 had led to a natural bias towards investors who were already active in agriculture, he said.

“They are the ones that will be more confident to rely on others to do their due diligence,” he said, with in-person due diligence often not possible. “New investors to the sector might take a bit more encouraging to get on board, but those institutions and organizations in Australia that have already made investments know what they’re looking for and are going to keep moving forward quite quickly, I think.”