Sharpe up, Laughlin in at PREI Asia

Victoria Shigehira Sharpe is being lined up for a newly-created, senior client-facing role at PREI Asia’s parent company Pramerica Investment Management and will be passing the leadership baton to ex-Grosvenor Fund Management Asia head Morgan Laughlin.

Pramerica Real Estate Investors Asia, one of the largest platforms in the regions, is to undergo a leadership change.

PERE can reveal that Victoria Shigehira Sharpe, the head of Asia Pacific at Pramerica Real Estate Investors Asia, is to take up a new client-facing role with parent company Pramerica Investment Management, the asset management arm of financial services giant Prudential Financial.

Her role will be assumed by Morgan Laughlin who resigned last month from his role as head of Asia at Grosvenor Fund Management, the fund management division of London-based property company Grosvenor. Both changes are expected to happen in March next year.

Sharpe hands over a platform that has been investing in Asia since 1994 and currently manages real estate funds collectively responsible for more than $7 billion of gross assets in markets including Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, China and India. The platform comprises more than 80 professionals operating in offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo, the latter of which is where Laughlin is expected to be based.

She is now expected to represent Pramerica’s interests across business lines and asset classes in the company’s relationships with its largest institutional investors. Pramerica has a similar role in the US but, to date, has not had this function in Asia.

It is the latest chapter for one of Asian private real estate investing’s highest profile women. In addition to her tenure at the helm of PREI Asia, Sharpe also previously worked for LaSalle Advisors, Capri Capital, as well as Northern Trust and Institutional Property Consultants. One of her standout projects was the consolidation of PREI’s Asian Retail Mall fund series into a S$3 billion (€1.9 billion; $2.45 billion) open-ended fund in October 2011 – creating the second largest collection of shopping malls in Singapore.

For Laughlin’s part, it marks a step up to a larger institutional investment real estate platform. He spent the best part of two years at Grosvenor Fund Management in which time he oversaw the creation of the firm’s first joint investment management platform, Harvest Real Estate Investments, which was finalised during the summer. He previously worked also for Royal Bank of Scotland and RREEF. Grosvenor is understood to be on the lookout for a replacement.

PREI Asia declined to comment.