Private equity investor Starwood Capital has brought on board a new lead executive for its property business in Asia, Mingtiandi has learned.
Kevin Lee, formerly a Managing Director with Lone Star Funds based in Tokyo, joined Starwood last month in Hong Kong as the Miami-based firm’s Head of Real Estate for Asia, according to an update to his LinkedIn profile.
Lee steps into his new role after Starwood’s former Head of Asia Pacific Acquisitions, Kevin Colket, left the firm in October of last year.
$60B Fund Manager Gets New Asia Leadership
After selling its hotel management business to Marriott for $13 billion in 2016, Starwood has continued to focus on its core business of real estate investment and now has $60 billion in assets under management worldwide, according to its website.
Lee joins Starwood after more than four and a half years with Lone Star Funds where he looked after the real estate private equity firm’s acquisitions in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan. Initially hired as a Director, Lee was promoted to Managing Director with the Dallas-based firm in January of 2018.
Originally employed as an Associate with PriceWaterhouseCoopers after graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2003, Lee had spent seven years with Starwood Capital in the San Francisco Bay area before leaving for a role with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in 2011.
Starwood’s London-based Head of International Hotels, Cody Bradshaw, looks after the company’s hospitality acquisition and asset management activities for Asia Pacific, alongside his parallel responsibilities in Europe. In Hong Kong, Starwood Vice President James Fogarty, who has been with the firm since 2011, focuses on acquisitions across asset types in Asia.
Following Up on Sydney Acquisition
In June of this year Starwood Capital teamed with Australia’s Arrow Capital Partners to acquire a suburban Sydney office complex for A$438 million (then $303 million). The US company, which was founded 28 years ago by Barry Sternlicht, acquired the 475,000 square foot (44,129 square metre) Zenith complex from a joint venture between BlackRock and Australian co-investor Centuria Property Funds.
During 2018 Starwood notched a pair of wins in close succession with sales of US asset portfolios to Singaporean investors. In early September last year Sternlicht’s team sold 33 office properties worth an estimated $1 billion to Ascendas-Singbridge (now part of Capitaland Group), and the firm followed up just ten days later with an agreement to sell $835 million in multifamily residential assets to CapitaLand.
Since officially leaving Starwood early this year, Starwood’s former APAC chief Kevin Colket has gone on to set up Hong Kong-based Global Hospitality Investment Group along with former HSBC and JP Morgan executive Darren Walters.