A Toronto-based company, Altus Group Ltd., which started life in 2005 as an income trust providing consulting services for the commercial real estate industry in Canada has been busy re-positioning itself.
Its new goal is to be a technology company with a far reach. It wants to make Altus Analytics the international standard for helping subscribers manage commercial real portfolios that span the globe.
“Companies are looking at investing in real estate on a global basis, and that’s a phenomenon that is going on at a time when there really isn’t a good solution to managing real estate on a global basis,” says chief executive officer Robert Courteau, who joined the publicly traded company in 2012 after serving as global chief operating officer at international software giant SAP. “There hasn’t been tools in this industry like ones commonly available in other asset classes. We are building those tools.”
The tools are needed now, he adds, because big players such as banks and pension funds are moving more into global real estate and have an increasing obligation to meet complex regulatory requirements in terms of reporting and transparency. Altus wants to help them make that process seamless, more efficient and more precise.
Security analysts applaud Altus’ direction. Richard Tse, an analyst at Cormark Securities Inc. in Toronto, confirms that the company is meeting an unfulfilled need in an industry that historically has had one of the lowest rates of technology investment.