After more than eight years leading real estate investments for KKR in Asia, Bryan Southergill has taken on a new role establishing a property team for Ares Management in the region.
The veteran fund manager started his new role on Monday as partner and head of real estate for Ares SSG, the local business of the global fund manager after being on gardening leave from his duties at KKR since 28 February, according to knowledgable sources who spoke with Mingtiandi.
Now back in Hong Kong after a brief rest in the US, Southergill is understood to be launching Ares’ real estate business in the region through establishment of a value-add and opportunistic strategy focussing on investments in China, Korea, Japan, Australia and Singapore.
For Ares, the hire represents an opportunity to expand its real estate business, which managed $62.6 billion in assets as of 30 June, into a region where it already has a team of around 125 people across nine offices, including locations in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
Southergill is employee one for Ares’ real estate business in the region and is starting into his job just over two years after the firm, which had $305.8 billion in assets under management globally as of 31 December, established a beachhead in Asia with the acquisition of a controlling stake in Hong Kong-based SSG Capital Management in January 2020.
Continuing to be based in Hong Kong, Southergill is leading Ares’ expansion in Asia just over one year after the firm expanded its industrial real estate capabilities with the acquisition of US logistics specialist Black Creek in a deal which closed on 1 July 2021. That deal closed just over one month after Ares completed its acquisition of alternative asset manager Landmark Partners.
In Asia, Ares is said to be planning a new office in Japan and is in the process of setting up a Seoul office.
For Southergill, who spent more than five years leading the real estate investment team at JP Morgan in Hong Kong before joining KKR to establish their Asia real estate business in 2013, there is the potential to set up a core-plus strategy in the future, with the firm understood to be actively recruiting new members of the Asia real estate team.
News of Southergill’s hire was first reported by Reuters.