Citing its institutional clients’ increasing focus on Asia Pacific, Knight Frank has promoted its Singapore-based head of APAC capital markets, Neil Brookes, to global head of capital markets, representing the London-based consultancy’s first global level leader outside the UK.
The promotion takes effect Thursday with Brookes set to retain his Asia Pacific portfolio, as well as his leadership of Knight Frank’s Asia transactions team as he ascends the global stage.
In the new role, Brookes will work with global clients to harness specialist acquisition, disposal and capital advisory expertise through the existing Knight Frank platform while expanding the firm’s service offering in growth markets and sectors, the agency said in a release.
“Neil’s location in one of the key global wealth hubs, Singapore, and his track record and depth of relationships with investors based in Asia Pacific made him the standout candidate,” said Alistair Elliott, senior partner and group chairman at Knight Frank.
Having led more than $8.5 billion in cross-border transactions and major asset sales, Brookes currently focuses on executing investment strategies for Knight Frank’s major clients across Asia Pacific.
Some of the big-ticket transactions he has brokered include the disposal of 127 Creek Street in Brisbane and 80 Grenfell Street in Adelaide for Blackstone and the disposal of 52 Goulburn Street in Sydney for Credit Suisse.
Brookes also shepherded the 2017 purchase of 66 Goulburn Street in Sydney for A$252 million ($200 million) by Ascendas-Singbridge, the Singaporean developer later acquired by CapitaLand.
The transfer of the agency’s global capital markets leadership to Singapore is symbolic of the changing tides in global capital flows. Almost 40 percent of ultra-high-net-worth individuals are projected to be based in Asia by 2025, said Kevin Coppel, managing director for Asia Pacific at Knight Frank.
London Office Alum
Brookes was appointed Knight Frank’s APAC head of capital markets in December 2013. Before relocating to Singapore, he was an equity partner at McVay Real Estate in Australia and served as director of international investments at both CBRE and Savills in Australia.
This is the second tenure for Brookes at Knight Frank: he began his career as an associate in the London office in 2001, shortly after graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a bachelor’s degree in real estate management. He also holds a diploma in applied finance and investment from the Australian Securities Institute and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
“I am delighted to lead the global capital markets strategy to service our clients in today’s rapidly evolving landscape,” Brookes said. “Structural changes in the investment market have accelerated through the pandemic and our clients are becoming ever more global. As a private partnership, we take a long-term view on providing the best possible client service and I look forward to leveraging our specialist sector expertise and unique access to global wealth to help our clients achieve their goals.”