Property consultancy JLL has tapped hotel investment veteran Mike Batchelor to lead its Hotels & Hospitality Group as Asia CEO, based in Singapore. Batchelor, who has been Managing Director, Investment Sales Asia at the NYSE-listed brokerage since 2007, will succeed Scott Hetherington, who takes the role of Chairman at the hospitality consultancy.
In tandem with Batchelor’s move, JLL has promoted Nihat Ercan to Head of Investment Sales, Asia. Ercan, who has been a member of the Asia hotel investment sales team since 2007, will also join the group’s Asia executive committee.
The job changes come as JLL announces new leadership in Indonesia and New Zealand.
Hotel Division Rides Tourism Boom
JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group has completed more than $77.5 billion of transactions worldwide over the past five years, and Batchelor’s ascension comes as the group plans for further expansion. In his new role, Batchelor will oversee the strategic direction and growth of JLL’s hotels platform as the region rides a mainland China-driven tourism boom.
“We’re excited to have Mike step into his new role and look forward to working with him to achieve our ambitious plans for the Hotels & Hospitality Group in Asia,” commented Anthony Couse, CEO of JLL Asia Pacific in a statement.
“Scott has done a stellar job of building the business in Asia over the years. With Mike’s expertise in transactions and delivering service excellence, we will continue to provide our clients with the cohesive experience they expect, while looking at new areas where we can add value,” Couse added.
From 2007, Batchelor headed up JLL’s hotels business across Asia based in Singapore and Thailand, leading and growing the investment sales team while playing a key role in high-profile transactions including the sale of InterContinental Hong Kong in Kowloon to a consortium led by Gaw Capital Partners for $938 million in 2015. Other major sales have included the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore, Grand Park Orchard Hotel Singapore and Laguna Beach Resort Phuket.
Batchelor joined the firm’s nascent hotel real estate business in Queensland, Australia in 1993, before taking over as head of brokerage for the state in 1995. After successfully building up the Queensland operations, the executive took charge of investment sales in Australia and New Zealand in 2006, in which role he closed over $750 million in transactions and helped set up an independent pubs business.
Hetherington to Chair Growing Hotel Advisory Group
The group’s new chairman, Hetherington, has served as CEO for Asia of the hospitality group since 2005, after working as Managing Director in Singapore for five years. The University of Technology Sydney alum joined JLL as a Partner in Sydney in 1980, and during his tenure at the firm also served as Executive Vice President in London for a decade.
Ercan joined JLL in 2002 and was based in the firm’s London office until moving to Singapore in 2007. He has closed over $450 million in transactions across Asia, including the Grand Park Orchard Singapore and the Four Seasons 21st Century Development Project Pudong and Swissôtel Kunshan in eastern China.
Ercan’s “well-rounded, international experience makes him the perfect fit,” said Batchelor in the statement. “I’m confident that he will help to elevate and strengthen our market presence in the region.”