28 Sep 2010

Property trust investors to vote on changes

5:46 pm on 28 September 2010

Listed property landlord AMP New Zealand Office Trust says investors will vote next month on its planned changes to the way it pays the manager of its portfolio.

More than a year after announcing the changes, the trust will send the documents to unit-holders to vote on a new management fee structure and on becoming a listed firm.

The trust has faced criticism from some investors, who've claimed the structure of the management fee encouraged an acquisition spree that rewarded the manager but cost investors.

Under the planned changes, the calculation of the fee will switch from one based on the value of assets, to a lower base fee, plus a performance component benchmarked against other listed property firms.

More importantly for some investors, the new structure includes a board made up predominantly of independent directors.

Fees similar to sector leader's

Reviewing the changes, Korda Mentha notes the manager's proposed fees will be similar to the sector leader, Goodman Property Trust, while a board that includes a majority of independent directors will give investors a greater say over the trust's direction.

Trust chairman Craig Stobo says investors should be happy it has met many of their concerns.

If the changes are approved at next month's meeting, it is intended that Don Huse and Graeme Wong will join Mr Stobo and Graeme Horsley as independent directors.

The trust says one of the board's first tasks will be to review the payout to investors. It will also bring forward the first quarter payment of 1.474c per unit to late October.