UK-based M&G Real Estate has promoted Lai Jing Dong to chief investment officer and interim CEO for Asia, subject to regulatory approvals.
Reporting to Tony Brown, M&G Real Estate’s global head, Lai will lead M&G’s real estate business and acquisition activities in Asia, including Australia.
Lai joined the firm in 2016 as head of acquisitions for Asia, taking on an additional role as head of M&G Real Estate Japan in 2019.
“We are delighted to welcome JD into his new role as CIO and interim CEO of M&G Real Estate in Asia,” Brown said in a Wednesday press release. “With his demonstrated track record of creating innovative deals, we are confident that we will continue to deliver strong value for our investors.”
In his acquisitions role, Lai has overseen 15 transactions amounting to $2.9 billion in assets under management on behalf of M&G Asia Property Fund, the oldest and largest open-ended core fund in APAC.
He also took the lead in investing on behalf of M&G’s value-add mandate, which has acquired stakes in four commercial assets amounting to $512.1 million in AUM in Australia, Japan and South Korea since its inception in June 2019.
Lai has more than 18 years of real estate investment experience. Before joining M&G, he served as director and head of investments at Straits Real Estate, where he managed an Asia Pacific investment mandate across multiple asset classes.
Lai’s CV also includes senior positions in real estate investment at Goldman Sachs in Japan and Singapore and at Carlyle Asia Real Estate Partners in Hong Kong. He began his career as an international finance analyst at Shinsei Bank. The Tufts University graduate is fluent in English, Mandarin and Japanese.
“I am honoured to be leading M&G Real Estate’s business in Asia,” Lai said. “I look forward to contributing to M&G’s deep expertise and growing our presence across Asia Pacific.”
Filling a Void
Lai is filling the seat vacated by Ng Chiang Ling, who left M&G earlier this year to become chief investment officer for Asia at US-based developer Hines.
Ng spent nearly eight years at M&G Real Estate, first as director of acquisitions before being named Asia CEO and chief investment officer in 2016.
Before her M&G stint, Ng spent 14 years in the real estate private equity division of Goldman Sachs, where she oversaw the division’s expansion into China and was responsible for investments and coverage across Asia Pacific.