Joining our series for a rare and exclusive interview is special guest Julius Colman AM - acclaimed lawyer, property pioneer & philanthropist, who throughout a storied career over the course of more than four decades, has been involved in a number of market-shaping deals and transactions across a range of industry sectors.
His story is a classic tale of entrepreneurialism, hard-work and free enterprise - born during a period of significant upheaval that was Poland in 1946, Julius & his family migrated to Australia in 1951, and like many of his generation, embarked on a journey to establish a more prosperous, fulfilling life for themselves in a Country that offered safety and opportunity.
Following graduation from Elwood College in Melbourne's Inner South in 1963, Julius attended the University of Melbourne, completing both undergraduate and master’s degrees in law before commencing his career as a solicitor before being appointed a partner suburban Melbourne law firm McGrath Colman Stewart in 1969.
Recognising an opportunity to syndicate client funds into residential and commercial developments, McGrath Colman Stewart ushered in a new era of property investment across Melbourne, quickly establishing a health client base and a reputation for their innovative, lateral thinking approach.
The firm launched MCS Property in 1992 as a listed vehicle and began to undertake large-scale property syndications predominantly across the retail & commercial sectors, with initial acquisitions including a car park and retail plaza in Adelaide for $25m and the $31m purchase of the Nepean Square Shopping Centre in Sydney's Penrith.
By 1997, MCS Property had invested in fifteen assets both domestically and in London, with a total value of some $250m and returns exceeding $30m per annum, before being acquired by Centro in 2003 in a $193m deal.
Following the sale of MCS, Julius was a foundation investor & major shareholder in ASX-listed Japara Healthcare before concentrating his resources toward charitable endeavours, including the Colman Foundation.
Our discussion explores Julius's family background, career in the law and his successes pursuits across the fields of property investment & development, healthcare, poker and charity.