Pattar joins KKR as head of APAC real estate

John Pattar, the long-serving chief executive at CLSA Real Estate, is set to lead global private equity firm KKR’s real estate business in Asia-Pacific.

The New York-headquartered investment firm KKR has appointed real estate veteran John Pattar as head of its real estate business in Asia-Pacific.

Pattar, who is based in Hong Kong, joins KKR from CLSA Capital Partners where he was the chief executive of its real estate business. At KKR, he will be leading KKR’s existing Asia real estate team and work alongside its other regional investment teams to source investment opportunities, as per a statement announcing his appointment.

Pattar takes charge of a business that has committed approximately $2 billion in equity and debt across over 40 real estate transactions in markets like Australia, China, India, Singapore and South Korea, as of March 31, 2018.

KKR did not have an official Asia-Pacific head of real estate position until now, although since 2013, Bryan Southergill, the firm’s managing director for APAC real estate, has been responsible for advancing the firm’s real estate strategy in the region. Southergill joined KKR in July, 2013 from JP Morgan where he was head of Asia real estate investing as KKR’s first senior Asia real estate hire. In 2016, KKR appointed former Blackstone managing director Rob Yang as managing director and head of Greater China real estate, a newly-created position to expand the firm’s real estate platform in China. Until Yang’s hire, this function was led by Southergill along with David Liu, head of KKR China, and co-head of KKR’s private equity business in Asia Pacific.

Commenting on Pattar’s hire, Ralph Rosenberg, head of KKR real estate, said: “Asia Pacific is a crucial part of our global real estate strategy given the attractive growth and demographic drivers found in markets across the region. Furthermore, we are focused on continuing to enhance our connectivity with Asian investors seeking to partner with KKR real estate in the US and Europe. We see great opportunity to continue scaling our real estate platform, and we are thrilled that John will lead KKR through the next phase of our growth.”

Pattar joined CLSA in 2004 after seven years as chief investment officer at Australian-developer-cum-fund manager Lend Lease. He oversaw CLSA’s Fudo Capital fund series. As PERE reported in 2016, Pattar was so highly regarded by CLSA’s investors that despite there being just two key men identified in the documentation of the first two Fudo funds, there was a further trigger clause demanded by certain larger limited partners which related to him. It stipulated that, should he leave, their commitments would be jeopardized. As such, even though Pattar remained a key man for CLSA’s third fund, three extra key staff were identified at the time, according to the report. These were the chief financial officer Yeu Liong Chong, regional head of asset management Paul Gately, head of Japan Hirotaka Uchiyama and head of China and Taiwan Byron Zhao.