Asia head Kelley leaves Apollo

Grant Kelley has left the helm of Apollo Global Management’s Asia real estate business after four years in charge to lead Singaporean property company City Developments.

Grant Kelley, the head of Asia at New York-based alternatives giant Apollo Global Management, has left the firm to head up a Singapore-based property company.

Kelley has led Apollo’s real estate business in Asia since 2010 and was in charge of the Asian component of Citi Property Investors (CPI), which Apollo acquired in the same year and accounts for the bulk of the firm’s activities in the region. 

He has joined City Developments, a Singapore-listed property conglomerate as its chief executive and will assume the role from February 17, according to a City announcement. His responsibilities will include overseeing the overall direction, development and management of City’s various business lines.

It is unclear at this stage why Kelley has switched roles. Apollo declined to comment on Kelley’s departure when approached, although it is thought the firm will not be seeking a successor. 

The firm had been in the market trying to raise AGRE Asia Pacific Real Estate, its first Asia-focused opportunity fund. The launch of the fund was reported twice, first in 2010, and then in 2012, yet Apollo has yet to announce any capital closings for the vehicle and PERE has since learned that fundraising effort has been discontinued.

Meanwhile, it has also been divesting from CPI’s Asia portfolio which sits within the $1.3 billion CPI Partners Asia Pacific opportunity fund. Today the fund is understood to have only nine investments left to divest out of 32 altogether.
The most recent exit was the sale from the fund of five office buildings in the Bonifacio Global City business district of Manila in to domestic conglomerate SM Investment Corporation. That deal was the largest private real estate deal in the Philippines to date. 

Kelley joined Apollo after the firm absorbed Holdfast Capital, a boutique business which he started after leaving private equity giant Colony Capital Asia in 2008. At Colony, he was chief executive and led its regional planning, acquisition and asset management activities.

It was at Colony where he completed one of his best known deals. In 2005, he led one of Asia’s largest real estate buyouts when Colony bought Raffles Holdings’ entire hotel portfolio for S$1.72 billion (€992 million; $1.35 billion).