CBRE Global Investors restructures in Asia

The LA-headquartered firm is expected to announce it is merging the fund activities of its platform in Asia with that of its indirect and joint venture division CBRE Global Investment Partners.

CBRE Global Investors (CBRE GI), the real estate investment management business of global property services giant CBRE, has restructured the operations of its Asia business.

The Los Angeles-headquartered firm is expected to announce in the coming days that it has merged its fund management platform in the region with the Asian fund management business of CBRE Global Investment Partners (CBRE GIP), CBRE GI’s indirect and partnerships focused division.

Both ran their own respective fund series but, going forward, all funds will be raised and managed by the conjoined division, starting with the launch of a value-added fund able to invest both in direct investments, as CBRE GI historically has, and via the programmatic joint ventures, which had been the domain of CBRE GIP. The fund is already understood to be in fundraising mode and has a $500 million to $750 million equity target. 

The merged funds business will be led by Adrian Baker, currently regional head for Asia Pacific at CBRE GIP. Richard Price, CBRE GI’s current chief executive officer is expected to transition to a senior capital-facing role based in Los Angeles by the end of the year. It is unclear at this stage whether Baker will assume regional operational responsibility for CBRE GI in Asia, inheriting Price’s remit in addition to his already enhanced position.

Despite the amalgamated platform, both the CBRE GI and CBRE GIP brands will continue, the former remaining responsible for its various separate accounts in the region. Among these is a large separate account with Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), aimed at investments in China.

Despite CBRE GI’s heft in the private real estate marketplace in general – the firm has approximately $89 billion of assets under management worldwide – the Asian component is relatively small at just $2 billion of assets. CBRE GIP, on the other hand manages approximately $5 billion of assets via its funds and accounts. 

In terms of head count, the CBRE GI’s Asia platform has approximately 60 staff based across offices in Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai and Singapore while CBRE GIP’s Asia business has approximately 10 staff based in Singapore.

CBRE GIP manages about $13.6 billion globally.

Meanwhile, Eduard Wehry, CBRE GI’s head of investor services for Asia, has left the firm to join Pramerica Real Estate Investors, the real estate investment management business of US financial services firm, Prudential Financial, as its head of business development for Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong, he will report to PREI’s global business development head, Mark Chamieh, and work alongside the firm’s head of Asia Pacific, Bennett Theseira. Wehry was unavailable for comment but it is understood that his move to PREI is not directly connected to the restructuring of CBRE GI’s Asia business.

Neither CBRE GI nor CBRE GIP responded to requests for comment by press time.