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APG’s Kanters relocates to Hong Kong to drive regional expansion

The Dutch investor is exploring the possibility of opening a new office in Singapore as part of APG's broader growth plan in real assets.

Patrick Kanters, managing director of global real assets at Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management, has relocated to Hong Kong to support the firm’s expansion in Asia Pacific, PERE can reveal exclusively.

Patrick Kanters won PERE’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2018

An APG spokesperson confirmed Kanters’ relocation and said the real assets boss will continue to oversee the firm’s global private investment activities from the Hong Kong office. It is understood that part of Kanters’ focus will be exploring the possibility of opening an office in Singapore as a gateway for private investments in Southeast Asia. However, the spokesperson noted that a “definitive decision” has yet to be taken regarding the new office.

Kanters has been heading APG’s real assets investments for more than 16 years. Under his leadership, the investor has ventured into overseas real estate markets and built an €18 billion infrastructure portfolio. The industry veteran has also led a change in APG’s investment approach from backing funds to taking more control by directly backing platforms and operators. Prior to joining APG, Kanters was a managing director at ING Real Estate for five years.

Kanters has also spearheaded the firm’s growth in Asia-Pacific. Apart from its Asia headquarter in Hong Kong, the investor also set up offices in Shanghai and Beijing at the end of 2019, as China has continued to be one of the biggest markets for APG in the region. Last year, the firm made its debut life sciences real estate investment in Asia-Pacific with China-focused healthcare specialist CBC Group. It also acquired a 20 percent stake in Hong Kong-headquartered data center platform OneAsia in April 2021.

The next step for APG in the region will be expanding further into Southeast Asia, where the pension investor is seeking opportunities in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and India, with a particular focus on infrastructure, renewable energy and natural resources, according to media reports. For example, OneAsia is in the process of expanding its portfolio into Japan, Korea and Thailand.

Other global institutional investors have also been setting up a boots-on-the-ground presence in the region during the pandemic. PERE reported last year that Ivanhoé Cambridge expanded its office in Singapore and planned to open an office in Sydney this year. Its Canadian peer Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan opened an office in Singapore in 2020.