Whilst employed as General Manager, Financial Services of Australian Unity Limited with responsibility for all investment management activities and financial services businesses, Vasco founder Craig Dunstan saw the opportunity for Australian Unity to develop, launch and manage a real estate fund owning healthcare real estate. At the time no such fund existed in Australia.
Following extensive research into the healthcare sector and healthcare real estate dynamics the structure of the potential investment fund started to take shape.
In 2001 the Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust was launched. Craig initiated the acquisition of the first two portfolios of properties into the Fund from Benchmark Healthcare Group and Alpha Healthcare Group. The properties included Beleura Hospital on the Mornington Peninsula as well as hospital properties in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
As part of the project, due to its novelty as the first healthcare property trust in Australia, extensive work with valuers and lawyers was conducted to determine how such assets should be valued and how leases should be drafted.
Today healthcare real estate is an established property asset class in Australia with a number of investment managers such as AMP and Vital managing such funds.
As of 30 June 2018 the Australian Healthcare Property Trust has assets of $1.5 billion and had delivered returns of 10.89% pa over the period since inception.
Craig remains an investor in the Fund.