Wendy Yao, the former head of Citi Property Investors (CPI), is to become the chief investment officer of the China business of Treasury Holdings.
PERE has learned she will join the Dublin-based real estate company at the start of June and will be charged with increasing its exposure to Chinese real estate, particularly retail assets, where both she and the firm have a track record.
She will report to Richard David, managing director of Treasury Holdings China. Yao and David previously worked together at Australia’s Macquarie Bank.
Treasury, which has been active in China since 2002,ultimately aims to “locate one-third of its worldwide activities in the Chinese market’ according to its website.
The firm, which has four offices in the country – in Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao and Hong Kong – has invested more than RMB10 billion (€1.18 billion; $1.46 billion) in the country in the last four years, according to one source familiar with the firm. Its most recent capital raising for the country was its AIM-listed real estate fund, CREO. The vehicle was listed in July 2007 having raised £259 million (now €301.8 million; $374 million).
Yao resigned from her role at CPI in early April following the agreement of its sale to Apollo Global Management. While New York-based Apollo’s take-over of the $8 billion global platform is yet to be completed, it is understood that Apollo’s initial Asia strategy lies away from China and Asia’s other emerging markets. Instead, its Asia division, led by former Colony Capital Asia head, Grant Kelley, is to focus on Asia’s mature markets of Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Yao led a team of five staff from an office in Shanghai. Other executives in the office include asset management vice presidents Henry Lo and Jeff Yang and investment associate Helen Yang.