Founded in the early 1990s, Macrolink Group (Macrolink) is a privately owned Chinese based multi-business group. With eight (8) separate business arms operating under Macrolink, the group has a diverse portfolio across a range of industries including mining, energy, engineering, property and construction, tourism and financial services.
The real estate arm of the business had experienced growth in China over the last decade, and with an intention to further expand its operations, established an Australian subsidiary of the group based in Sydney in 2016 as an opportunity to target a new investor market. This started by turning the old Coca-Cola Amatil building into the “Opera Residence” project which will become an iconic building among the Sydney Harbour skyline. The group has also expanded into Canada, South Korea, and Malaysia. A change of strategic direction in recent times has seen Macrolink expand into the cultural and entertainment sectors also.
As a firm, they have a simple structure, goal, and mission; Macrolink knows what they are doing and where they would like to go. The journey to get Macrolink there is where RSM comes in.
According to Lin Zeng, Macrolink’s Executive-Vice General Manager and Financial Director, “Funding is and has always been an area of focus”. This has meant that despite the success of previous construction and development projects, Macrolink has had to navigate the complexities of accessing debt and equity funding to reinvest into future developments.
Additionally, the flow-on effects of the Banking Royal Commission coinciding with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted the banks’ lending to developers and investors, resulting in a slow-down in the purchasing of pre-development land. This has also meant that for property development firms with existing projects, additional complexities arise with retiring or refinancing existing debt facilities.
With growth and funding as key areas of focus for Macrolink, Lin engaged the services of Adam Crowley, Director and National Head of Property and Construction at RSM, who has been instrumental in providing tactical and well thought out advice and business solutions on the options available to Lin and his team. “When Lin approached me about the vision for Macrolink in Australia, in particular the Sydney market, I knew that I could draw from my experience advising other clients in this space, and key findings on what has worked for others to help them grow and succeed”, says Adam.
Lin was first introduced to RSM by another Chinese property development group, and he has maintained a connection with the firm for well over 10 years, having worked with a number of RSM’s Partners and Directors in that time, “There is trust, and the quality of service is outstanding.”
Why did you look for a specialist adviser?
“RSM is an integral part of our business and helping it run in Australia”, says Lin. Often, there is work that requires specialist tax and accounting advice. For this sort of work, Lin can always turn to RSM for their knowledge and expertise, “RSM know what they are doing, and they understand the needs of our business. They understand my thoughts and requirements and they get the job done, no matter what.”
Lin sees RSM as a “centre of all resources” with access to a range of customers and service providers, such as legal firms, valuers, and sales agents. “The referral network is a huge advantage of RSM”, continues Lin, “they are very well connected, and they have access to experts in their relevant fields. They are my trusted adviser for all my business services such as tax advisory, compliance, payroll, auditing, and day-to-day accounting needs.”
Adam adds, “We (RSM) have worked with Macrolink for many years to provide a range of services, from specialist taxation advisory and structuring to general accounting and business services. Our responsiveness to our clients’ needs, in addition to our comprehensive understanding of their business operations, means we are well equipped to add value and provide a great service”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact across all industries globally. For the property and construction sector, it has resulted in a decline in investor capital into the Australian market. Despite this, Macrolink has its eyes set on growth in the short to medium term.
With a property development project typically spanning 4 to 5 years, from the purchase of land to the development of a building, it is only a matter of time before this sector picks up and an opportunity may present itself. Lin says, “I’m hopeful that in the next few years, the demand for property investment will gradually increase which will open up some new development prospects for Macrolink”.
“It’s a challenging time for many businesses, no matter which industry they are in. For Macrolink, we are pleased to have been a part of their journey from its beginning, and hope to continue to play a key role in their success in the Australian property and construction market for many years to come”, concludes Adam.
We asked Lin to sum up the service with RSM in three (3) words:
Efficient, cost-effective, and comprehensive.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
To learn more about the Macrolink Group click here.