Manulife IM’s Asia real estate boss to depart

The investment arm of the Canadian insurer has made an internal promotion to continue to lead its Asia real estate footprint expansion.

Manulife Investment Management is losing its Asia real estate boss and has made an internal promotion to replace him, PERE can reveal exclusively.

Kenny Lam, senior managing director, Asia chief investment officer and head of Asia transactions at Manulife IM Real Estate, is understood to be departing the firm in June after serving in his current role for nearly five years. He joined the Canadian insurer from Hong Kong’s sovereign wealth fund Hong Kong Monetary Authority, where he had acted as chief manager of global real estate direct investment. Prior to that, the real estate veteran held senior roles at Ping An Real Estate and JPMorgan Asset Management.

During his tenure, Lam completed a number of key transactions in Asia on behalf of the firm’s real estate team. Most recently, these deals included the joint acquisition of a logistics asset with LOGOS and the LOGOS Vietnam Logistics Venture and a commitment to GLP’s $1.1 billion maiden Vietnam Logistics Development Fund.

While it is unclear what will be Lam’s next venture, the firm has promoted Jessie Liu as the head of transactions and portfolio management, real estate, private markets, Asia. Based in Hong Kong, Liu will take over the transactions and portfolio management responsibilities from Lam. Reporting to Marc Feliciano, global head of real estate for private markets, she will lead the sourcing, acquisition and new market development of real estate investment in the region.

Feliciano said in a statement seen by PERE that Liu is expected to continue to lead the firm’s Asia real estate expansion. He stated that “the strategic importance of the Asia region in our global real estate growth strategy simply cannot be overstated.”

Liu joined the investor in 2019 and has participated in several transactions in key Asia markets across the logistics, commercial and multifamily sectors. Prior to joining Manulife IM, Liu held senior roles at China Resources Land Private Equity and Yue Yuen Industrial.