Chelsfield furthers global push with Dymon Asia acquisition – Exclusive

London-based private real estate investment firm adds Asian arm following April’s move into the US.

Chelsfield has purchased the real estate investment management business of alternative assets firm Dymon Asia in a move which sees it further globalize its footprint in the market.

The London-based firm has now added the Asia segment to its plan to grow a global business following April’s $1.3 billion acquisition of the former Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue in New York, which effectively saw it establish US operations.

Chelsfield is run by UK entrepreneur Elliott Bernerd and is backed by the Olayan Group, the Saudi Arabian private conglomerate. It had long-held large real estate positions, primarily in the UK, and latterly in Paris, before it made its US debut.

Nick Loup, the long-serving former chief executive of another London-based property stalwart, Grosvenor, has been installed as chief executive of its Asian business, Chelsfield Asia.

Loup joined Chelsfield’s board of directors in 2015, although he subsequently took charge of Dymon Asia’s expansion into real estate launching a value-add fund for investments across the region. Following extensive talks, Dymon is understood to have agreed to sell to Chelsfield the platform which will form the basis of Chelsfield’s Asian operation. 

Joining Loup at Chelsfield Asia is Yu Yang, chief investment officer, and William Lo, chief operating officer, both of whom also previously were Grosvenor executives. 

On the back of the acquisition from Dymon, Bernerd said: “I have known Nick Loup for many years and have a high regard for him and his team. I am very happy they are now part of Chelsfield and to have a strong operation in Asia will complement our existing operations in Europe and North America.”

Loup added: “We are excited to be part of Chelsfield Group and are looking forward to capitalizing on the synergies between the gateway cities and our teams within the three regions.”

Chelsfield Asia consists of nine staff across offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo, all cities where it plans to make investments. It is believed to be close to completing its first two outlays in Singapore and Tokyo. The assets are expected to seed the value-add fund, which is understood to be on the cusp of reaching a $400 million close. That number could grow when taking co-investments into account.

The firm declined to discuss its fundraising plans, although the value-add fund is anticipated to be the first of a number of vehicles offered by Chelsfield Asia. A core-plus fund is also thought to be on the cards.