Outbound real estate investment by Chinese buyers hit a record of $33 billion in 2016, and the global property consultants competing to advise these investors are adding finance talent to help structure these billion dollar deals.
US-based Cushman & Wakefield, still known as DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield in China, became the latest to join the financial advisory race this month when it appointed former Standard Chartered banker Sean Zhang as Head of Financial Advisory Services for China.
Based in Shanghai, Zhang is tasked with establishing a new financial advisory services department for DTZ/C&W, working with teams in the company’s largest offices in Greater China to assist clients with financial advisory, capital raising, debt advisory, structured finance, asset securitization and REIT formation.
“This appointment marks a strategic initiative in building our integrated service platforms,” commented DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield’s APAC chairman Edward Cheung. “Our brand new Financial Advisory Services Department has not only expanded our service capabilities, but also helped to forge a comprehensive service platform in Capital Markets by integrating itself with Valuation, Investment and Asset Management.”
DTZ/C&W, which is estimated to have become the third-largest player in the real estate consulting world following the merger of the former DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield businesses in 2015, is setting up the finance team following a similar move by competitor JLL in September last year. JLL also turned to former Standard Chartered talent for its own financial advisory team, bringing in former SC veteran Eddie Yeh to head the unit for Greater China, and adding Yeh’s former co-worker Henrietta Yap earlier this month.
Zhang spent more than nine years with Standard Chartered, serving most recently as Director of Client Solutions in Shanghai. During his time with the bank, the graduate of the UK’s University of Bath and the China Institute of Finance and Banking helped syndicate loans for clients including Jinjiang Hotels, CIFI and Shimao, as well as arranging leveraged finance for Jinjiang Hotels, according to a statement by his new employer.
In addition to his experience at Standard Chartered, Zhang also served stints with OCBC and Bank of China.