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Oxford to outsource multifamily property management to BGO

Oxford's Le Mille Neuf apartment property in Montreal. (Courtesy Oxford)
Oxford's Le Mille Neuf apartment property in Montreal. (Courtesy Oxford)

Oxford Properties Group has decided to outsource property management services for its wholly owned, 5,000-unit multifamily portfolio in the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal to BGO, the firm is announcing today.

The portfolio includes 15 properties in Canada’s two largest urban markets.

Under the agreement, all Oxford permanent residential site employees will transition to BGO. Oxford will continue to manage all other aspects of the portfolio, including asset management, capital expenditure decisions, execution, development and investments.

“BGO is a highly regarded, institutional-quality residential property manager who will continue to provide the best possible class of service to our residents,” Tyler Seaman, executive vice-president, Canada, said in the announcement.

“One hundred per cent of our property management site team members will be offered employment with BGO, which ensures continuity for our residents.”

The transition was announced to employees at the end of March, an Oxford spokesperson told RENX. 

“An important part of Oxford’s decision to partner with BGO was the technology and operational advantages they possess in the residential sector,” Seaman said in the announcement.

“However, more importantly, BGO has a people-first culture and will provide career growth opportunities for our residential team members as a result of their growth aspirations in the Canadian property management sector.”

Oxford to continue managing other properties

The decision affects only Oxford’s multifamily portfolio - the company is not making changes to management in any of its other investment sectors.

“The operating needs and customer relationships in multifamily real estate are highly distinct from the commercial sector,” Seaman said.

“The internal operation of our Canadian office, retail and industrial assets provides Oxford with unique competitive advantages due to their scale and our close relationships with corporations that span across Canada and the globe. 

“We will continue to internally manage these portfolios to benefit from our operational capabilities in these areas. These capabilities are both an important area of differentiation for Oxford and highly regarded by the institutional capital partners we co-invest with.”

Oxford’s multifamily properties include buildings such as Residences on Bay, Goldengate Apartments, Brampton Towers and Lakeside Place in the Greater Toronto Area, and Le Mille Neuf, LaCite Apartments and Arbora in Greater Montreal.

The change in operating model does not alter Oxford’s long-term conviction in the Canadian residential sector where it has a growing portfolio of over $2.7 billion in assets, the company says. 

The agreement covers all of Oxford’s existing wholly owned Canadian multifamily assets, Seaman told RENX in an exchange of emails, but excludes other Canadian multifamily assets Oxford owns in partnerships and joint ventures. 

Oxford also plans to continue delivering much-needed new supply through its development program.

The Toronto-based investor currently has 1,000 new residential units nearing completion in the GTA and Vancouver with a plan to deliver an additional 5,000 new rental units by 2030. 

Oxford, the real estate division of the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement System (OMERS), also owns and/or manages $18.5 billion worth of property comprising 40 million square feet of assets within the Canadian office, retail and industrial sectors.

BGO grows property management division

Adding the Oxford properties to its management platform represents a significant chunk of new business for the BGO Living division, which was named Rental Housing Provider of the Year for 2022 and 2023 by the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations.

“Oxford Properties have built an exceptional portfolio of multifamily properties in Canada,” Christina Iacoucci, BGO’s managing partner, head of Canada, and CIO, said in the announcement.

“BGO Living’s deep and experienced team, with support from professional teams across BGO’s global firm, are eager to bring the best of their service philosophy, operational excellence and resident engagement programs to these communities with an aim to deliver an outstanding quality of living experience. 

“Earning this significant mandate from Oxford Properties further solidifies BGO’s best-in-class, third-party property management platform and meaningfully grows our residential property management footprint in Canada to over 12,000 units.”

BGO Living, the residential services brand for BGO in Canada, has been in the residential rental property management business since 2013. 

With the inclusion of Oxford’s portfolio of residential communities, BGO Living serves residents across 46 properties and over 12,000 units in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, southwest Ontario, Toronto and Montreal.

BGO Living provides a full range of services including lease-up, marketing, resident engagement and retention, and on-boarding of multifamily residential properties.

BGO is the real estate investment arm for Sun Life Financial.

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