Allianz appoints former Lone Star exec to head Asia

The German insurer has appointed Rushabh Desai as head of its Asia Pacific operations.

German insurance giant Allianz Real Estate has appointed Rushabh Desai as head of its Asia-Pacific operations.

Desai started his new role today and will be based in Singapore. He will report to Francois Trausch, the global chief executive officer of Allianz Real Estate.

“Thanks to its quality global organization Allianz Real Estate has successfully built a €42 billion well diversified global real estate portfolio. I am a strong believer in the long term fundamentals of the Asia Pacific region and I hope to be able to drive Allianz Real Estate’s growth agenda for the region,” Desai said in a statement announcing his hire.

Desai was previously managing director for Asia Pacific real estate markets for Lone Star Funds. He spent around nine months working in the firm’s Tokyo office. Before that he spent around 12 years working with General Electric (GE) in several senior positions, including as the firm’s head of strategy and planning, chief financial officer, and head of business development for the region.

“Rush Desai has built a formidable reputation in the Asia Pacific real estate industry,” said Francois Trausch. “His outstanding transactional skills, breadth of relationships, and collaborative leadership qualities will aid him to lead Allianz Real Estate Asia Pacific into the future.”

Desai’s appointment is indicative of the insurer’s ambitions to expand its investment exposure in the region. The investor is understood to have committed capital to PAG’s latest core-plus vehicle in Asia. In June, PERE reported the final closing of the PAG Real Estate Partners fund at $1.3 billion. According to a Bloomberg report Allianz Real Estate plans to have 5 percent of its global real estate portfolio invested in Asia by 2019. By then the insurer is targeting to grow its portfolio to €60 billion.