QuadReal, the real estate investment, development and management company owned by Canadian pension plan bcIMC, is planning to open its first overseas office in London as it pursues its global expansion plan, PERE has learned.
The satellite location is expected to begin operations during the first half of 2018. Vancouver-based QuadReal currently has two other offices in Calgary and Toronto.
The company appears to have established a London satellite office earlier than anticipated. In a May 2017 interview, Jonathan Dubois-Phillips, QuadReal’s president of international real estate, told PERE: “We’ll look in the future at opening offices outside of Canada. Right now, it looks like the first office will be in London, that’s probably 24 to 36 months out from today.”
Dubois-Phillips added that Europe was expected to become a bigger part of QuadReal’s portfolio. At the time, the company’s holdings were heavily weighted to the Americas, but Dubois-Phillips anticipated that the firm’s property holdings would become more balanced, with 50 percent allocated to the Americas, 25 percent to Asia and 25 percent to Europe.
The opening of the London location will follow QuadReal’s hire of its new head of Europe as part of an expansion of its international team. The company recently tapped Jay Kwan to serve in the role. Kwan, who will be based in London, comes from TPG Real Estate, where he had been a managing director covering Europe since mid-2016. Among the deals he oversaw at TPG was the formation in November 2016 of the Southern European Value-Add mandate, a vehicle focused on retail investments in the region, in partnership with TH Real Estate and Partners Group.
Prior to TPG, Kwan was a partner at Grove International Partners, formerly Soros Real Estate Partners, for 13 years. While at Grove, he lived and invested in the US, Japan, Spain, Germany and Russia, completing more than $5 billion of transactions. He began his career at Lehman Brothers in 2001 as an analyst in the real estate investment banking and private equity group in New York.
Meanwhile, QuadReal has also hired Jameson Weber as global head of special situations, focusing on global investments across technology-related and alternative real estate, companies and special situations. Weber, who most recently was vice-president of product strategy at real estate tech startup Hightower, previously worked at Oaktree Capital Management and Cerberus Capital Management.
The hires of Kwan and Weber complete the company’s international leadership team, led by chief executive Dennis Lopez and Dubois-Phillips. In November, QuadReal appointed Peter Kim, formerly a senior portfolio manager in the real estate and infrastructure department at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, as managing director of Asia. The company also hired former JLL managing director of capital markets Lucy Fletcher as international portfolio manager in June and recently promoted Timothy Works to managing director of the Americas.
In June 2016, bcIMC launched QuadReal as an independent property company to manage the C$123 billion ($95.8 billion; €84.9 billion) Canadian pension plan’s more than C$18 billion in real estate assets, including C$2 billion outside of Canada. QuadReal’s portfolio has since grown to C$24.5 billion of assets, spanning 23 cities in 17 countries.