Robert Lie, until recently the Asia chief executive officer at Netherlandsbased ING Real Estate Investment Management, has been appointed managing director of Redevco Asia.
Redevco, a spin-out in Europe from C&A retail group, is owned by Cofra Holding, a Swiss-based holding company that only recently expanded real estate ambitions to Asia.
While at ING Lie held various positions, most recently heading up the company's efforts in Asia since 2004.
Just a week before the Lie announcement, ING announced that its multi-fund management business, ING Real Estate Select, had hired Dick Popken, currently senior portfolio manager for real estate in Asia Pacific at PGGM Investments, as its new head of fund management in Asia.
Netherlands-based Redevco marked its entry into the region earlier this year with a $30 million (€19 million) investment in the Arch Capital Asian Partners fund. The firm says its main focus in this market will be on India and China.
“India and China offer unparalleled opportunities because of their growing markets and high economic growth,” said Jaap Blokhuis, chief executive officer. “We want to build a sustainable portfolio in Asia as a long term player and we will therefore open our first office in Hong Kong, China.” From there the firm plans to build up a real estate portfolio comprising retail investments and developments, primarily new shopping center developments in major cities.
The new PGGM hire has experience spanning private real estate investments, listed securities, structured products and CMBS from China to New Zealand and from Japan to India, according to Nicholas Cooper, chief executive of ING Real Estate Select.
Lie isn't the first former ING pro to be tapped to spearhead Asia operations. Also in May, Washington-based Darby Overseas Investments, the private equity arm of fund of funds manager Franklin Templeton Investments, announced it had hired former ING executive David Hudson to help expand the firm's presence in Asia – and its global infrastructure activities. Hudson was previously chief executive officer of ING Group's Americas wholesale banking division, and former chairman and chief executive officer of ING Bank and ING Securities, Asia Pacific. Prior to joining ING in 1996, Hudson led JPMorgan's Asia Pacific operations.
Based in Hong Kong, Hudson will be responsible for developing Darby's Asian private equity and mezzanine funds, overseeing the firm's teams in Hong Kong, Seoul and Mumbai. In 2006, Darby launched its first dedicated infrastructure fund, the $610 million (€390 million) Korea Emerging Infrastructure Fund.