Ex-RREEF exec joins Blackstone in Asia

Philip Levinson has been hired by the New York-based private equity and real estate firm, which is considering opening additional Asian offices. Levinson joins following spells at RREEF and LaSalle Investment Management.

The Blackstone Group has named Philip Levinson as a managing director, effective 6 July 2009.

Levinson joins the firm from RREEF, the global real estate, infrastructure and private equity unit of Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm, where he was a managing director and head of its client relations in Asia.

At Blackstone, he will be in charge of raising capital, maintaining client relationships and will involved in the development of new products across Asia Pacific, according to a statement from the firm. He is presently based in Singapore, where he's resided for nearly five years.

“Blackstone is currently conducting an assessment of where its new offices in Asia are to be based,” said Levinson in an interview, adding that the firm was also reviewing the market and opportunities. The firm already has offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing and Mumbai.

Levinson is also the honorary secretary of the Asian Public Real Estate Association (APREA), co-chair of APREA’s sustainability committee and chair of the Asian Property Derivatives Interest Group.

Earlier this month, Blackstone was reported to be in talks with the Shanghai city government to establish a Chinese subsidiary, following the introduction of a pilot government policy allowing foreign firms to set up wholly-owned Chinese entities in the Shanghai Pudong New Area.