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M&G RE appoints Korea head for deals

The real estate investment arm of UK insurer Prudential is continuing its internationalization push with the creation of a new role in Korea, and the appointment of banking and real estate veteran Hyesik Ryu to fill that role.

M&G Real Estate, the real estate investment arm of UK insurer Prudential formerly known as PRUPIM, has appointed Hyesik Ryu as a managing director to lead its South Korea business, revealing a continued push for internationalization and the diversification of its Asia portfolio.

Ryu fills a newly created role, and will work alongside M&G’s real estate fund and asset management teams to lead the firms deal sourcing capabilities in South Korea. Ryu will be based in Seoul, where he will be responsible for the management of the firm’s local office. He will work most closely with associate director Sanghyuk Lee, and reports directly to Scott Girard, M&G Real Estate Asia chief executive.

Ryu joins M&G from Hyundai Securities, where he was a director and managed the project financing, loan structuring and acquisition of real estate assets. With over 18 years of real estate and banking experience in Korea under his belt, Ryu has also worked for Korea Development Bank, Korean REIT Koramco and regional fund manager Ascendas. 

“Hyesik's appointment is an important part of our strategic development plan,” Girard said in the statement. “Korea is a key market for us… and we want to build on this, diversifying our portfolio of real estate assets in Asia so that we continue to deliver investment performance for the growing number of institutional investors allocating to core Asian real estate.”

M&G’s strategy in Asia is focused on core real estate, particularly in the commercial sectors of industrial, office and retail. It is aimed at institutional investors that want a low-risk and income-focused real estate strategy with the returns of core real estate in Asia’s mature markets. M&G’s current Asia portfolio includes seven assets across Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Australia, totaling $1.75 billion. M&G has two offices in Korea.

With over £17 billion (€20.5 billion; $27.9 billion) invested worldwide, M&G Real Estate was formerly known as PRUPIM, but rebranded to have the same name as its parent company earlier this year. In September, the firm also saw $112 million of capital in its Asia core fund change investor hands.