Property industry mourns Atlas’s Irvine

Posted On Wednesday, 16 February 2005 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The South African property industry was shocked last week to learn of the death of Peter Irvine, chairman of Atlas Properties, a top-performing property company on the JSE Securities Exchange SA.

Property-Housing-ResidentialIrvine, a respected player in the listed property sector, died on Tuesday after a heart attack. He was 59 years old.

His career in the property industry spanned more than 30 years.

Eliot Osrin, chairman of the Foschini Group and a director of Atlas since 1995, has been appointed as acting chairman.

Atlas Properties MD Ian Raubenheimer said Irvine started his property career when he launched property development and project management group DCF in 1973.

In 1993 DCF took over the management of listed property loan stock company Boardprop, launched by BoE’s property division in 1988. The name of the company was changed to Atlas Properties in 1995. DCF became a wholly owned Atlas Properties subsidiary in 1998.

Before the DCF takeover, Boardprop had performed poorly. As Atlas Properties the company has gone on to become one of the most successful listed property loan stock companies on the JSE.

Irvine obtained a BSc engineering degree at the University of Natal and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. He was appointed as a director of Atlas in 1994 , and chairman in 1998.

A former provincial squash player, who enjoyed fly-fishing and, in his younger days, spear-fishing, Irvine is survived by his wife Penny, his four daughters and a son-in-law.

Property commentators hailed Irvine as a doyen of the sector. Angelique de Rauville, MD of listed property portfolio management company Provest, said Irvine had "contributed enormously" to the South African property sector.

"It is a huge loss to the property sector given that a man of his stature and integrity, and with his extensive property knowledge, is hard to come by in the South African market, particularly as property has been a neglected asset class over the past decade," said De Rauville. "A man offering what Peter had to offer is very rare."

Colin Young, fund manager of Old Mutual’s SA-listed property funds, said Irvine was a "captain of industry and a leader in his field" who "understood the compound-return wealth benefits of property".

Young said Atlas Properties "achieved above industry average compound growth and, while its portfolio is small, it’s of a high quality and Western Cape-based".

Young said Irvine was key to the company’s success but had "good succession in place. Ian (Raubenheimer) will have to take up the reins, which he is more than capable of doing."

Last modified on Saturday, 07 June 2014 20:27

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