One of Shanghai’s best-known investment brokers has left the agency world to join Gaw Capital, as the Hong Kong-based private equity real estate firm continues to build up its mainland team.
Johnny Lu Shao, formerly head of Capital Markets for East China at JLL, joined the Gaw team as Deputy Managing Director for China late last month, according to an update to his LinkedIn profile, after just over two years running the investment services division of the multinational property consultancy.
The new role will see Shao reporting to Gaw Capital managing principal and head of China, Humbert Pang, according to sources familiar with the new role who were in contact with Mingtiandi, as the Hong Kong-based real estate private equity firm continues to search for profitable investments for its $1.3 billion Gateway Real Estate Fund V, which closed last year, and to pursue profitable exits from its earlier vehicles.
Shao Returns to Fund Management World
Prior to joining CBRE, Shao was head of investment for Shanghai-based real estate investment firm Forterra Trust – formerly known as Treasury China Trust – for nearly four years, and also spent close to four years with the investment team at DTZ in Shanghai, before the consultancy merged with Cushman & Wakefield in 2015.
With Shao already in place at Gaw Capital, JLL national director Reeve Wang has now stepped into the role of head of the consultancy’s capital markets team for Shanghai and East China, according to industry sources who spoke with Mingtiandi.
Gaw Does More Deals, Hires More Staff
Adding Shao to its Shanghai-based team may help Gaw to maintain the breakneck rate of its mainland deal-making, as the firm continues to evolve from its family-shop roots.
During October of last year the fund manager purchased the Sky Soho project in Shanghai’s Changning district for a total consideration of RMB 5.01 billion ($754.1 million), just three months after it invested RMB 400 million into Shanghai-based co-living operator Harbour Apartments. In 2016, Gaw led a $33 million investment round in Asian co-working operator naked Hub, which is also based in Shanghai.
Gaw was also active in disposals last year, as Hong Kong’s Link REIT purchased Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou from funds controlled by Gaw Capital and Morgan Stanley for RMB 4.1 billion ($589 million) in April. At the end of the year, Gaw Capital exited its investment in the Cross Tower in Shanghai, selling that Huangpu district asset to a core property fund controlled by local real estate private equity firm World Union Investment Management for a price believed to be RMB 2.66 billion ($402 million).