Allianz turns to Scott Kim to lead its Asia real estate effort

The German insurer has appointed the former global head of real estate at Korea’s National Pension Service to stabilize its real estate business in Asia following a period of fast growth.

German insurer Allianz has signed former National Pension Service of Korea global real estate head Scott Kim to lead its real estate activities in Asia, PERE can reveal.

The insurer’s real estate platform Allianz Real Estate has confirmed the appointment, effective this summer. Kim will report to global chief executive officer and chief investment officer Francois Trausch and become a member of the firm’s global executive team and equity investment committee.

The move reunites the two senior executives after they previously worked together at GE Real Estate, where Trausch led the corporation’s former real estate business in Asia, while Kim headed its efforts in Korea.

They worked together again more recently, as NPS was the investor in Allianz’s first third-party real estate fund in Asia, the $2.3 billion Allianz Real Estate Asia Pacific Core 1, which was closed in 2020.

In a statement given to PERE, Trausch said: “It is not often that a candidate the caliber of Scott Kim becomes available and we are very grateful to our clients for supporting this hire. Scott is one of the leading figures in the global investment community and his understanding of the global real estate markets, alongside his detailed knowledge of the broad Asia-Pacific region will be a true asset to our global leadership group and our teams on the ground in Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo.”

Kim, who will be based in Singapore, will also work closely with the property business of Allianz Real Estate’s parent company PIMCO, which currently conducts its activities in the region from the US.

Kim resigned from his role at NPS last October after six years spent growing Korea’s pre-eminent pension fund into one of the world’s most prolific institutional investors. Read PERE’s interview with Kim published last year to learn more about how. During his tenure at NPS, Kim oversaw the growth of its real estate asset base grow from about $11 billion to approximately $29 billion, placing it in 15th place in PERE’s latest annual Global Investor 100 ranking.

In that time, Allianz has grown considerably, today sitting in second place in the ranking with $61 billion of equity invested in the asset class. The insurer’s recent growth in Asia has been notable. In Q1 this year, the asset base in the region was valued at $8.7 billion, 988 percent more than the $800 million in assets on the books as recently as 2016.

This fast growth was overseen by Kim’s predecessor Rushabh Desai, who leaves the role at the end of this month after six years. PERE understands Allianz intends to transition its Asia activities for a more stabilized period with future asset under management growth in the region most likely coming from third-party mandates.

Kim said of the appointment in another statement, provided to PERE: “Working within the Allianz real estate team and being part of the PIMCO business is attractive for many reasons. The combination of leading such an ambitious team in APAC while contributing to the global strategy of the business were aspects that very few competitors have been able to offer me. Alongside this, I have already built trust with the brand and its people as their partner and look forward to deepening that relationship as a colleague.”