JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group has announced the appointment of Ben McDonald as the new head of pubs, investment sales, for Australasia, a role in which he will be tasked with growing JLL’s pub sales business.

McDonald will begin the new Sydney-based role on 1 June, reporting to Nihat Ercan, CEO of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group Asia Pacific. In addition, McDonald will continue to partner with the Australasia Pub Investment Sales team, comprising Queensland representative Tom Gleeson and Victoria representative Will Connolly.

JLL’s pub sales business has been strong in Australasia, transacting an estimated $2.2b in sales over the past 24 months, and Ercan is confident that McDonald will continue this trajectory of growth.

“Our pubs business has gone from strength-to-strength and we’re extremely confident that Ben will take it to new heights. Demand for quality pub assets is unlikely to subside and with Ben’s leadership qualities, key relationships and acute understanding of sector specific fundamentals, we expect our pubs business to firmly entrench its market leading position,” he said

McDonald joined JLL in June 2020 as senior vice president, later taking on the role of executive vice president and NSW state head, where he led a team of six brokers and oversaw key operations and marketing functions. McDonald’s previous transactions with JLL include the Republic Hotel Sydney, Commodore Hotel McMahons Point, Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay, and Longueville Hotel Lane Cove.

Prior to working with JLL, McDonald also held roles at CBRE, with a similar focus on Australian pub sales.

Peter Harper, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group’s managing director, head of investment sales Australasia, spoke to the skills that McDonald will bring to his new role,

“With a strong reputation for his transparent yet strategic approach to deal making, Ben has been entrusted with acquisition and divestment mandates by the largest hotel groups in the country. The benefit of a strong pipeline of deals, backed by the most experienced Pubs team in market, gives us deep confidence that Ben will continue delivering for clients.”

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