Australian real estate group Lendlease is looking to Asia for its future, as the ASX-listed firm on Thursday announced that Tony Lombardo would become its new group chief executive from 31 May.
Lombardo, who is currently based in Singapore as CEO for Lendlease’s Asia division, will be taking over from Steve McCann, who will be retiring from the company on the same day that the new chief executive takes over, according to a press release.
The changeover comes after Lendlease made several staffing moves over the past year to bolster its Asia Pacific leadership team. Lombardo’s time as Asia CEO and previous experience as group CFO are expected to serve him well in the new post, said chairman Michael Ullmer.
“Tony will commence in his new role as the group pursues its revised strategy focusing on leveraging its competitive edge in the development and delivery of large-scale, mixed-use urbanisation projects and growing the investments platform,” Ullmer said.
Lombardo has more than 25 years of experience in real estate development, investment management, finance, M&A and strategy, both in Australia and internationally, Lendlease said.
The one-time accountant joined Lendlease in 2007 as group head of strategy and M&A, a job that included refocusing the group’s overall business strategy. In 2011, he was appointed group CFO and played a key role in enhancing the flexibility of the group’s capital structure and broadening its funding and banking relationships.
In 2016, Lombardo was named Asia CEO based in Singapore. Recent wins include the completion of the city-state’s S$3.7 billion ($2.8 billion) Paya Lebar Quarter mixed-use development, creation of a $1 billion data centre joint venture with a large institutional investor, and the listing of the S$1 billion global LREIT on the Singapore Exchange.
Before joining Lendlease, Lombardo spent nearly a decade at GE in various strategic and finance capacities. Earlier he worked at KPMG for over four years. He holds a degree in accounting and finance from RMIT University in Melbourne and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
“I look forward to working with the board, management and our 11,000-strong team globally to deliver positive outcomes for all of our stakeholders,” Lombardo said.
Lombardo is headed back to Sydney after Lendlease made several high-profile hires in 2020 to beef up its APAC executive team.
In March, the group brought aboard former Global Switch managing director Sam Lee as managing director for data centres, based in Singapore, as Lendlease sought to expand into the server farm market across Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
In April, Lendlease announced the hiring of former Ikea executive Hui Ding as managing director for China, where the company has plans to build senior living projects. And in May, the group selected Gan Chong Min, a former managing director for fund management at CapitaLand China, as Lendlease’s managing director for investment management in Asia.
Veteran Calls Time
McCann heads into retirement after a 16-year career at Lendlease, including more than 12 years as group CEO and managing director.
Before joining Lendlease in 2007 as CEO of investment management, McCann spent six years at ABN AMRO in roles that included head of property, head of industrial M&A and head of equity capital markets for Australia and New Zealand. His previous jobs included head of property at Bankers’ Trust, four years as an M&A lawyer at Freehills and four years in taxation accounting.
He holds a Bachelor of Economics in finance and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University in Melbourne.
“I am very pleased that the board has selected Tony as my successor,” McCann said. “His appointment reinforces the outstanding bench strength we have built in senior management at Lendlease. I have worked closely with Tony for 13 years and am confident in the future of Lendlease in his hands.”