KKR Greater China real estate head departed – Exclusive

Rob Yang, who had joined the private equity powerhouse from Blackstone in 2016, has left the firm.

Rob Yang: former KKR China head

Rob Yang, managing director and head of Greater China for real estate at KKR, is no longer working for the firm, PERE has confirmed from sources familiar with the firm.

Yang is believed to have stepped down from the leadership role late last year but there was no official word on his departure at the time.

His departure is also not thought to be connected to the recent arrival of John Pattar as KKR’s head of real estate in the region.

PERE understands  KKR will not be hiring anyone to replace Yang in the leadership role. The China real estate operations will now be overseen Pattar.

Yang’s departure ends his short stint at the global private equity powerhouse, where he joined in May 2016. In his role, a newly-created position at KKR, he was responsible for sourcing investments and expanding KKR’s real estate platform in China. Until Yang’s hire this function was led by Bryan Southergill, managing director for Asia along with David Liu, formerly KKR’s head of KKR China, and co-head of its private equity business in the region.

Under Yang’s tenure, KKR partnered with Chinese property developer Sino-Ocean Group to invest $191 million in Beijing Capital Grand, formerly known as Beijing Capital Juda, a Hong Kong-listed retail outlets developer and operator.

Yang  joined KKR from Blackstone where he was one of three managing directors in charge of its China real estate business. Having joined the New York-headquartered asset manager in 2007, Yang was one of the earliest executives in Blackstone’s Asia team, and went on to establish the firm’s China real estate investment platform.

KKR has been in the news over the past month following its decision to poach industry veteran Pattar from CLSA Capital Partners where he ran a successful private equity real estate platform for 14 years. Under the new leader, KKR is expected to launch its debut Asia vehicle by year-end or early next year, as PERE reported earlier.