South Africa’s property services giant Broll is taking the African continent by storm and has lately launched an office in Kenya which expands its continental network to over 15 offices from five at the beginning of the year.
In a statement released yesterday Broll said it was responding to growing investment on the African continent. The Kenyan office is poised to provide property services to support demand across the East Africas region.
Broll added that it has set up a substantial footing in sub-Saharan Africa. With its new Kenya offices Broll is directly represented in eight countries on the continent including Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mauritius and Namibia.
Broll’s expansion can be seen as part of a scramble by South African corporations to secure a spot within the growing African economies. Following years of talk and sprinkles of expansion commercial actors from Africa’s largest economy seems to have entered a renewed and braver phase of northwards ventures. This was confirmed in the 2013 Ernst & Young Africa investment survey which showed that South Africa is at the forefront of continental investment trends and more focused on the emerging service economy. South African commercial property investors like Atterbury, Old Mutual, Sanlam and Billion Group are taking prominent position in this trend.
Broll Group CEO Malcolm Horne said the new office in Kenya answers the growing needs and opportunities in the region. “Broll has been doing business in Kenya for some time now from its South African headquarters with its international partner CBRE,” said Horne. “As the economic hub of East Africa, with sound macroeconomic and political policy in place, Kenya is attracting multinational companies. Nairobi is proving increasingly popular for corporate head offices on the continent and in the region.”
This is driving the demand for support from real estate services. “Broll Kenya will heighten service in the country by having presence on the ground and, in addition, identify opportunities to grow its local client base,” said Horne.
The group said seasoned South African expatriate and property professional Jonathan Yach has been appointed as MD of Broll Kenya and will bring his 25 years of property experience in South Africa and, most recently, India, to the business.
Yach has extensive experience in retail property management and has held senior positions at Zenprop Property Holdings, Colliers International (Cape Town), JHI Management Group and Broll in South Africa, as well as Propcare Mall Management in India.
He has shared his strategic insight in positions with the South African Council of Shopping Centres, the Shopping Centre Association of India, Green Building Council of South Africa and the South African Property Owners Association. He also served on the board of Rics (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) in India and South Africa.
“Kenya’s property market is very sophisticated, and competitive and full of prospects,” said Yach. “Its retail property market is growing and the list of new retailers entering the market is deepening, the retail market here is primed and is ripe for growth.”
Yach added that Kenya has an advanced office property market, commanding solid rentals, reflected in both new and older skyscrapers that dot the skyline of its key business hubs.
“When it comes to industrial property, we’ve seen a strong commitment by businesses here to absorb and adopt international best practice within their logistics” notes Yach.
“Where transnational companies go, they support and become part of the local economies,” said Yach. “Their economic participation creates a multiplier effect. So, for example, more retail brings more choice; this benefits consumers and drives stronger back-of-house logistics support which also fuels a positive demand to invest in infrastructure.”
“We are proud to partner new local businesses and many of our long-standing clients as they expand into new territories. With more multinational companies interested in Africa, professional leasing and corporate real estate services are making inroads into previously undeveloped markets. Steadfast in its positive sentiment about the African continent, Broll is bringing its specialised services and unique capabilities to these markets,” said Horne.