James Quille has always been a man on the move—and for good reason. The firm he currently heads, Macquarie Global Property Advisors, is one of the most active foreign players in Asia, a region that Quille himself has been investing in since the early 1990s.
After working as a project manager in Zambia and Australia, Quille joined real estate, construction and financial services company Lend Lease in the 1980s. Years later, when the firm began developing its own fund platform, Quille was chosen to head up the effort, Lend Lease Global Properties, which raised an Asia-focused fund. When Lend Lease decided to get out of the business, Quille led a management buyout of the platform, eventually teaming up with Australian bank Macquarie to form MGPA.
The firm has since taken to Quille's globetrotting ways, focusing on opportunistic investments throughout Europe and Asia. In 2005, the firm acquired the Platinum Tower office block in Shanghai, one of the first large-scale acquisitions by a foreign private equity real estate firm in China. Earlier this summer, it announced the acquisition of three buildings in the central business district of Kuala Lumpur; the firm is also eyeing deals in Thailand and Singapore, to say nothing of the major economies of Japan, Hong Kong and mainland China.
With more than $1 billion raised for its last vehicle, Quille and Macquarie have most likely just started racking up their frequent flier miles.