International property consultancy, Knight Frank, on Friday announced the appointment of Piers Brunner as its new Chief Executive Officer for Greater China, based in Hong Kong. Brunner, who resigned his post as chief of Colliers Asia operations last year, is now tasked with growing the business of one of his former competitors in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.
Prior to joining Knight Frank, Brunner spent 26 years in the real estate industry, with 20 of those years at Colliers International, most recently as Chief Executive Officer for Asia.
Kevin Coppel, Regional Head of Asia Pacific, Knight Frank, says, “We are delighted to have someone of the calibre of Piers to lead our Greater China business on the next phase of its development. Piers’ understanding of the business in Hong Kong and China, his track record in major leasing and investment transactions, and his leadership experience will prove to be a tremendous asset for Knight Frank.”
Brunner resigned from his role at Colliers in August of 2014, and has since been replaced by David Hand, who joined the company in June of this year.
In a statement, Knight Frank indicated that its outgoing CEO for Greater China, Colin Fitzgerald, will be relocating back to London in November after 12 years in Hong Kong. In the UK Fitzgerald will take responsibility for the relationship between Knight Frank and its US alliance partner, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.
During his time at Colliers Brunner managed 30 offices across 14 countries, and helped the agency win business from major multinationals such as Procter & Gamble, Reuters, Alcatel and EMC, as well as managing corporate accounts for ACNielsen and ABN Amro among others. Knight Frank is planning to leverage Brunner’s expertise in tenant representation to help build its business in this area across Greater China.
“I am excited to be joining Knight Frank, a business with a strong reputation and worldwide network, Brunner said with regard to his new role. “I am optimistic about the opportunities in the real estate markets in Greater China and look forward to working with my new colleagues to pursue those opportunities with energy and determination.”
Having lived in Hong Kong for the last 16 years, Brunner has extensive experience with Chinese business, and Knight Frank is counting on leveraging his client connections to help it gain ground on its larger rivals in the region.
Before moving to Hong Kong, Brunner spent four years in Jakarta with Colliers International where he led the company’s Indonesian business through the Asian financial crisis of the late 90’s without losing profitability, according to a statement from Knight Frank.
Brunner started his career in the UK in 1990 where he was part of Knight Frank’s London tenant representation team from 1991 to 1995 where he was part of the tenant representation team. Brunner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Exeter University, and a Diploma in Real Estate from Reading University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) and a member of Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Surveyors (HKIS), and Hong Kong Registered Professional Surveyor (RPS).