AEW opens Singapore office, adds staff

Real estate investment firm AEW Capital Management has opened an office in Singapore and, in addition to staffing the office, is looking to launch a new regional vehicle.

Boston-based AEW Capital Management has established itself in Asia with a new office and investment staff in Singapore. The firm is reportedly planning to start raising money for an Asia-focused private equity real estate fund in early 2007.

With the new office comes the addition of an Asia staff. Peter Wittendorp, formerly the chief investment officer for Asia at Dutch property investor ING Real Estate, is joining AEW as a managing director and the head of the firm’s Asian operations. Previously, Wittendorp held senior executive positions with industrial REIT ProLogis and Dutch pension ABP Investments

Antony Knep is joining as a securities portfolio manager. Before joining AEW, Knep was a portfolio manager for Asian securities and assistant portfolio manager for Australian securities at BT Financial Group, which worked as an advisor to the regional components of AEW’s Global Property Securities Portfolios. Adrian Cheung signs on as an equity analyst and was also with BT in Australia.

“The opening of our Singapore office gives AEW a strong presence in Asia with an experienced team of real estate investment professionals,” Jeffrey Furber, chief executive officer and managing partner at AEW, said in a statement last month. “Peter brings a wealth of private and public market experience in the Asian Pacific region, and AEW has worked closely and successfully with Antony and Adrian in their past positions.”

AEW will reportedly look at the office, industrial, multifamily and retail, as well as consider investing in India. The firm will initially look at investing in real estate securities through its existing vehicle, with direct investment to follow in six to 12 months.

Founded in 1981, AEW has more than $33 billion of real estate assets and securities. The firm has offices in Boston, Los Angeles, London, Paris and eight other cities in Europe.