RREEF suffers two further senior departures in Asia

Asia head of acquisitions, Eryck Su, and head of Korea, Tae Kim, are the latest senior executives of RREEF’s Asia business to leave.

RREEF Alternative Investments, the alternative investment and asset management business of Germany’s Deutsche Bank, has suffered further senior departures from its Asia division.

Eryck Su, who was Asia head of acquisitions outside of Korea and Japan and Tae Kim, head of Korea, have departed from the firm, according to sources close to the matter. Kim has joined Standard Chartered bank for a role within its real estate division while Su is yet to resurface at another firm.

Their departures mark the latest in a long line of staff exits from the firm, both in Asia and across the wider RREEF business. Most recently in October, the firm lost its head of India, Kishore Gotety, after he left for Singapore sovereign wealth fund, GIC.

Other departures in Asia include chief investment officer Mark Fogle and Su’s predecessor Brian Chinappi, who left in March, the latter having also joined Standard Chartered. Before that, Philip Levinson, head of client relations, joined Blackstone and Jon Tanaka, head of RREEF’s Japan team, left for Angelo, Gordon & Co.

Globally, RREEF lost US head of client relations Susan Barlow in July, shortly after global head Chuck Leitner stepped down to be replaced by head of Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific Pierre Cherki. Earlier that month, global head of research, Peter Hobbs departed to join data provider Investment Property Databank as senior director and head of business development. Other departures include Andrea Pauls Backman, a US-based director who joined Stockbridge Real Estate Funds, also in July.

One source with knowledge of Su and Kim’s departures questioned the firm's investment capabilities in Asia having shed a number of senior staff. He told PERE: “They now have very limited capacity to make investments in Asia now. There are the German open-ended funds, but in terms of sustainability in Asia, they need to raise local capital.”

He said many of RREEF’s investment executives in Asia had previously invested capital from RREEF’s global opportunity fund series, the latest of which, the $1.6 billion RREEF Real Estate Opportunities Fund II, is now fully invested. Approximately 30 percent of that capital was invested in Asia markets.

However, after a planned follow-up fund, initially targeting $1.5 billion in commitments, was shelved last year, the Asia platform’s investing capabilities had become limited.

In April, Cherki and head of Asia, Niel Thassim, told PERE the firm was currently focussed on managing existing investments and capital, but both maintained that expansion in the region was still targeted.  Despite the freeze on plans for a new fund, they said then that there was approximately $500 million of capital available for investments from its German open-ended funds and other offshore investors. One recent investment completed by the firm was the €170 million acquisition of a retail asset in Osaka on behalf of its Grundbesitz fund, a vehicle which, at the time, had a 24 percent exposure to Asia.

RREEF was unavailable for comment at the time of writing, as were Su and Kim.