Former ADIA Asia chief Walker joins M&G

Robert Walker is set to join M&G Real Estate Asia as non-executive board director, amid a series of senior appointments by the investment manager. 

Robert Walker, former head of Asia Pacific Real Estate at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, has been appointed by M&G Real Estate as an independent board director for its core Asia property strategy.

PERE reported Walker’s departure from the Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund in March. A long-serving executive at ADIA, Walker took on the leadership mantle in 2012.

Walker, whose appointment is subject to regulatory approval, will be joined at M&G Asia by Richard van den Berg, who was previously a managing director with CBRE Global Investors. Starting mid-August, Van den Berg will oversee M&G’s core Asia strategy, replacing Scott Girard. Berg has more than three decades of industry experience, and has also worked with ING Real Estate Investment Management.

Additionally, M&G has also appointed Tenshin Ito as head of its Japan operations. Ito, who was previously working with Tosei Asset Advisors, will be based in Tokyo and will manage M&G Real Estate’s Japanese acquisitions and asset management teams. He comes with 25 years of industry experience and has also held senior positions at IDERA Capital Management and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

The appointments end over a year and a half of management shuffle in M&G’s Asia leadership team, which started when Girard announced his decision to step down as the chief executive officer for the region in January 2016. In July, Chiang Ling Ng took over the leadership mantle from Girard, who had stayed on as senior adviser but had spoken of plans to relocate to Australia later in the year, according to earlier PERE reports.

In September, however, Girard took on the new role of an interim fund manager for M&A’s open-ended Asia core fund after its fund manager Erle Spratt left the firm.

Commenting on the latest appointments, Chiang Ling Ng said: “They bring a wealth of experience of the Asia Pacific real estate markets and we are confident that these significant appointments will further consolidate our leadership position and deliver long term income and capital growth to our investors.”