Leading this week’s People in the News, flexible offices are all the rage in Asia as a Shanghai commercial property pro has decamped for Singapore to work for a new sharing economy real estate platform. Also in our HR update, a property agency veteran has jumped to a rival consultancy in Shanghai, and a hotel executive takes a new role in Bangkok with a Swiss hospitality brand. And a hyper-acquisitive mainland group has named a former German politician as head of its US charitable foundation, as the firm seeks to shore up its faltering image overseas. Read on to learn more about these people moves.
Philipp Roesler, a former German Vice Chancellor, has been named as chief executive of HNA Group’s New York-based non-profit, Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation Inc. The foundation is the largest shareholder of the mainland conglomerate, which has come under scrutiny over its ownership structure and financial integrity following a $50 billion overseas buying binge that included trophy real estate assets. Hainan Cihan, which holds a 22 percent stake in HNA, was officially registered in September and says it plans to donate up to $200 million to charitable efforts over the next five years. Vietnam-born Roesler served as Vice Chancellor of Germany and Minister of Economics and Technology from May 2011 to December 2013.
Yann R. Deschamps has taken on a fresh challenge as Head of Workthere Asia Pacific, leading the regional roll-out of the new flexible workspace consulting venture backed by international brokerage Savills. The veteran of Shanghai’s commercial property scene has relocated to Singapore to take the new position at the London-based platform, which offers a free way for businesses to find and secure flexible workspaces. Deschamps previously worked as a Director with the Commercial Department at Savills in Shanghai since 2013. Prior to that, he founded Urbis Property Consulting and spent more than seven years growing the Shanghai-based commercial real estate agency. Deschamps has also worked for JLL and Colliers International and had been in China’s commercial hub since 2001.
Christine Lashko is now a Senior Director and Head of Enterprise with the Occupier Services Group at property brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, based in Shanghai. Lashko has 15 years of experience working on office and business park leasing, acquisition, consolidation, and build-to-suit requirements for domestic and multinationals firms across China. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield in September, the Peking University graduate worked at rival Colliers from early 2003, rising up the ranks to become head of business park services on the tenant representation side.
Mark Willis is joining Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts as President for Asia, where he will oversee the entire Asian operations of the Switzerland-based hospitality group. Starting in January, Willis will put his two decades of experience to work driving the fast-growing firm’s expansion strategy, which targets 30 properties by 2020. Willis will succeed Andrew Langdon, who will now focus entirely on his role as Chief Development Officer. Both executives will be based in Bangkok, with Willis relocating from Dubai, where the British national currently serves as Senior Area Vice President Middle East, Turkey & Africa at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts operates 12 hotels and resorts in six Asian locations, two of which opened this year.
Monica Lu has joined Archetype Group as Business Development Manager, working in the Shanghai office of the Vietnam-based construction firm. Lu covers the manufacturing, real estate, energy and infrastructure sectors in her new role at the Asia-focussed company. The Sichuan Normal University graduate has worked in the real estate field for over six years, previously serving as an international business development manager in the building and facilities department of certification agency Bureau Veritas, after holding a similar role at construction firm Truslink Engineering (Shanghai).
Samantha Yu is now Associate Director and Head of the Shanghai International Properties Department at real estate consultancy Colliers International, after serving as a Senior Manager since March of this year. Yu started her career at Colliers in Shanghai as a Sales Manager in 2014, after studying in Melbourne for over four years.
As usual, if you know of other Asia real estate professionals changing their jobs, getting promoted or just doing something exciting, please feel free to share with the rest of the community here at Mingtiandi.