Grosvenor Fund Management’s Asia head to leave

Approximately two years after joining the London-based firm from Royal Bank of Scotland, Morgan Laughlin is to leave for another role early in the New Year.

Morgan Laughlin, the head of Asia at Grosvenor Fund Management (GFM), the real estate investment management arm of London-based property company Grosvenor, is to leave the company.

PERE has learned that Laughlin has accepted a role at another organisation and is expected to join it early in the New Year. Grosvenor declined to comment and Laughlin was unavailable for comment.

Laughlin leaves just as the final touches are made on Harvest Real Estate Investments (HREI), GFM’s joint venture with China’s second largest asset manager, Harvest Fund Management (HFMK), a tie-up he initiated. The joint venture is expected to raise both international dollars and Chinese Renminbi for property investments across mainland China.

GFM has already moved to replace Laughlin on the board of HREI by drafting in chief operating officer Robert Davis alongside chief executive officer Jeffrey Weingarten. The other board members come from HFM.

GFM is also understood to have appointed a recruitment consultant to search for Laughlin’s replacement, although whether his particular job will be filled or another role created is yet to be determined.

Laughlin, who is based in Tokyo, has more than 20 years of experience in the Asian real estate and financial markets. He joined GFM in January 2011 as part of a wider push by Grosvenor to expand the business in the region.

While his tenure with the platform will have been less than two years, he is understood to have made a significant imprint nonetheless. In addition to his work behind the formation of HREI, Laughlin also worked on GFM’s recalibration in Australia from a proprietary investor to a fund manager. He also worked on various fund efforts in Australia and in its more established markets of Japan and China.

At RBS, he was a managing director and the regional head of real estate finance for the Asia Pacific region. He joined the bank in 2006 after a spell as head of Deutsche Bank subsidiary RREEF’s non-Japan Asia business.