RREEF hires South East Asia head

Rahul Ghai has been hired by the real estate investment management business of Deutsche Bank having previously worked at Standard Chartered Bank, Istitmar, and Jones Lang LaSalle.

RREEF, the real estate investment management business of Deutsche Bank, has hired Rahul Ghai to lead its investment activities in South East Asia, it revealed today.

The firm, which has €42.6 billion of assets under management, has made Ghai a director with an initial primary focus on Singapore and Australia, it said in a statement.

Ghai has already had spells with three large organisations, having previously worked at Standard Chartered Bank, Istitmar World, the investment arm of Dubai World, and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Neil Thassim, head of RREEF in Asia, said Ghai’s experience and relationships in the region would boost RREEF’s capabilities, and added the company had a number of clients seeking to increase their exposure to South East Asia. He explained “strong economic fundamentals” and market transparency were key factors behind demand.

RREEF also added in the statement that it regarded 2010 as its most successful year in Asia, closing more than $1 billion of transactions in the region and raising more than $3 billion of Asian capital to invest via the manager.

Indeed, in July this year, the firm’s global chief investment officer, Kurt Roeloffs, pointed towards more activity still when he said in an interview that core investors should be underweight Europe and overweight Asia.

The hiring of Ghai also comes after a period of churn among senior RREEF professionals in Asia last year.
Asia chief investment officer, Mark Fogle was one person who departed last year. He is now busy building a real estate investment platform at Baring Private Equity Asia.

Head of India, Kishore Gotety, left for Singapore sovereign wealth fund, GIC. Eryck Su, who was Asia head of acquisitions outside of Korea and Japan and Tae Kim, head of Korea, were also among those to depart.