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Levinson leaves Park Hill to lead Singapore’s CIT

The former Blackstone executive has taken the helm at the Singapore industrial REIT taking over from Chris Calvert.

The man behind launching Blackstone’s operations in Australia has left to lead Cambridge Industrial Trust Management (CITM), the manager of Singapore’s first listed industrial property REIT, Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT).

Philip Levinson has called an almost five-year tenure with the New York giant to a close and will join CITM as chief executive officer at the end of this month. Levinson replaces Chris Calvert in the role. Calvert previously announced his intention to return to Australia.

His last role at Blackstone was as head of its capital raising platform in Asia, Park Hill Real Estate Asia. He joined Blackstone in 2009 from RREEF and he also previously worked for LaSalle Investment Management.

Levinson described in an announcement his arrival at CITM as part of its growth story. “Together with the senior management team, we look forward to creating further value for our stakeholders and unit holders.”

He comes aboard with CIT currently invested in 47 assets across Singapore, reflecting a gross floor area of 7.6 million square feet and valued at S1.2 billion (€687 million; $946 million).

He also becomes the steward of a platform whose majority ownership rests predominantly with Australian bank, National Australia Bank, Singapore investment firm Oxley Group and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. CIT was listed on the Singapore stock exchange in July 2006.

Levinson said the firm would continue to look for opportunistic acquisitions as well as improve the value of its existing assets in a “sustainable and measured way”.

His departure comes just over a week after it emerged Charles Purse, one of Park Hill Real Estate’s co-founders, was retiring. Purse, who founded the firm with Frank Schmitz in 2005 in a joint venture with Blackstone before it was folded into Blackstone’s own Park Hill Group, is understood also to be about to take another role and that role is also expected to be on the principal investment side.