Tishman Speyer has announced the promotion of Wilson Chen to chief executive of the New York-based real estate firm’s China operation.
Chen joined Tishman Speyer in 2010 and most recently served as senior managing director and chief investment officer for China. He brings extensive experience in capital markets, equity investment, debt financing and asset management to the post.
“The new appointment once again demonstrates Tishman Speyer’s long-term commitment to the continuous growth in the China market,” the company said in a release last Friday.
Based in Shanghai, Chen will continue to report to China country head Ryan Botjer, who works out of Tishman Speyer’s Chicago regional office.
As chief investment officer, Chen was responsible for coordinating acquisition and disposition activity across China. He also led the China equity capital markets team in fundraising efforts, joint venture opportunities and portfolio management and oversaw the launch of Tishman Speyer’s RMB fund platform.
Before joining the company, Chen worked at CBRE Global Investors, investment bank Lehman Brothers and law firm Paul Hastings. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Nanjing University and master’s degrees in economic law from both Martin Luther University in Germany and Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
Old China Hand
Country head Botjer was first stationed in China from 1996 to 2001, during which time he served as chief operating officer of Asia Pacific Real Estate Ltd, which co-developed the first phase of the Shanghai Racquet Club & Apartments with ING Real Estate. He worked on the project’s development and its asset management strategy.
Botjer joined Tishman Speyer in 2004 and helped set up the firm’s China business in 2006. Through his involvement in the Leadership Development Program, he assisted in the formation of the Tishman Speyer Office Fund and Listed Property Trust in Australia and the development of the firm’s emerging markets platform. His current duties include providing senior management oversight for activity in Chicago.
The Colgate University grad earned an MBA from Georgetown University.
In It for the Long Haul
Despite some highly visible asset sales in recent years, Tishman Speyer has made a point of declaring its commitment to China investment.
In mid-2019, a Tishman Speyer-managed fund sold the Atrium mall in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, to a joint venture including Singapore’s ARA Asset Management and China’s CICC Capital.
Then last June, Tishman Speyer sold Tower 2 in its Crystal Plaza project in Shanghai’s Pudong district to beauty brand TST, controlled by actress Zhang Ting, for RMB 1.76 billion.
Botjer hastened to say at the time that Tishman Speyer was “still investing in China, still committed to its markets and still looking for new opportunities”. He noted that the firm had developed more than 1.44 million square metres (15.5 million square feet) of property in China and was exploring new opportunities on the mainland.