GIC’s India RE head to lead office

The sovereign wealth fund of Singapore has officially opened its first India office and has installed its real estate head, ex-RREEF executive Kishore Gotety, to run it.

Kishore Gotety, who was appointed as head of India for the real estate division of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC last September, has been appointed head of its first Indian office.

The office opening in Mumbai was GIC’s eighth outside of Singapore. It will initially contain more than 10 investment and asset management staff, the fund said in an announcement, to be led by Gotety.

“The team aims to foster close relationships with key Indian partners who share GIC’s values as a responsible and long term investor,” GIC deputy chairman and executive director Tony Tan said, adding that GIC has been an investor in India since the early 1990s. “The setting up of the India office demonstrates GIC’s commitment to secure a larger role in the Indian growth story.”

Gotety was appointed following a stint at Deutsche Bank’s alternative investments arm RREEF where he led the firm’s real estate investing activities in the country. In a report by PERE following his hire, his peers described Gotety as a market veteran and a “door opener” and his appointment as underlining GIC’s “long-term view of investing in India”.

One unnamed RREEF colleague said: “He can easily open doors for [GIC] in India. He opened them for us at RREEF. Kishore’s relationships in India will compliment an organisation like that with a great name capital to invest.”

GIC’s real estate portfolio sits within its alternative assets division which, according to its 2009/2010 annual report, decreased to 25 percent of total assets from 30 percent a year earlier. Its real estate weighting decreased to nine percent from 12 percent as part of the wider decrease.

The fund had made investments in Indian real estate prior to Gotety’s arrival. For example, in July 2010, it acquired a 36 percent stake in a $325 million fund focused on Indian hotels managed by a joint venture between Accor and InterGlobe, a hotel operator and travel company respectively.