Citi Asia head leaves business

David Schaefer, managing director and head of the Asia Pacific region for New York-based Citi Property Investors, left the firm at the beginning of the month. He was based at the firm's Hong Kong office. Schaefer's departure is the second high-profile loss in Asia after Tim Grady left Merrill Lynch earlier this month.

David Schaefer, the Asia head of Citi Property Investors, has left the firm.

He is the second senior Asia-focused real estate professional to leave a large financial institution in the past few weeks. Tim Grady, head of opportunity fund investing at Merrill Lynch, left earlier this month.

Schaefer was based in Hong Kong and was hired by Joseph Azrack, the former head of Citi Property Investors, now with Apollo Management.

A spokesman for Citi Property Investors confirmed his departure but would not comment further. Schaefer was unavailable to comment.

According to sources, the firm sounded out investors about a second Asia focussed fund last year but it is not clear if this is proceeding. The first fund, CPI Capital Partners Asia Pacific, closed on $1.29 billion of equity in February 2007.

Prior to joining Citi, Schaefer was head of property for Asia at Macquarie Asia Property Advisors.

He is also currently an independent director of Singapore-listed Ascott Residence Trust Management, a company which specializes in serviced residential property investment across Asia.