ASIA NEWS: DTZ’s Asian ambitions

When property services firm DTZ underwent a comprehensive senior management overhaul early last year, one of the objectives was to seek ways of growing its investment management business beyond its current UK stronghold.

In Asia it has found a way to do just that. Last month, PERE  revealed the firm had appointed ex-Citi Property Investors head of David Schaefer to grow a real estate investment management platform, including opportunity funds, in the region.

Reporting directly to global head of capital markets, Serkan Bektas, Schaefer will immediately set about putting in place the necessary infrastructure for a fund series to be run out of Hong Kong.

“The investment management side is currently limited in Asia,” said Schaefer, who was appointed head of investment management Asia Pacific at DTZ. “But there is a huge wealth of resources.” DTZ’s property services business has offices in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

Schaefer aims to build a “lean” and “focused” team targeting investments in a select number of countries. A first fund of between $300 million and $500 million is expected to be launched by the fourth quarter.

“This will alleviate the need for offices all over the place,” he said. “I want us to concentrate on markets where we can develop a focus.”

In addition to growing the real estate investment management business in Asia, Schaefer has also been appointed global head of institutional capital charged with growing its institutional client base from its core of UK and Western European investors.

DTZ already has an investment management business run from London, with more than $2 billion of assets under management.