CBRE has elevated Tom Gaffney to president of the firm’s North Asia advisory business, with the post’s current holder, Ben Duncan, assuming a temporary role as North Asia chairman ahead of a planned exit next year.
Gaffney, who is regional managing director for Hong Kong, will start his new job overseeing advisory services for mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and South Korea on 1 January, according to a LinkedIn update on Monday.
Duncan will conclude a 20-year career with CBRE at the end of 2024 after working closely with Gaffney to ensure that the division’s “strong momentum” continues, chief operating officer of advisory services Chris Kirk said in an internal memo seen by Mingtiandi.
“Ben has been a great leader of our North Asia advisory business for the past nine years, presiding over significant growth and our evolution into the regional market leader,” Kirk said.
Long Record in Retail
Gaffney joined CBRE in early 2016 as managing director for the agency’s Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan offices. Before that he spent nearly five years at JLL as head of retail in Hong Kong, advising clients on project development, consultancy, tenant mix, brokerage, tenant representation and retail outlet strategies.
From 2006 to 2011, Gaffney held positions in commercial and retail asset management at Hongkong Land, with postings in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
Originally stationed in Singapore, where he was responsible for asset management and leasing of Hongkong Land’s South Asia retail portfolio, he later served as general manager and country head of Thailand and was responsible for management and leasing at the Gaysorn luxury mall in Bangkok.
A graduate of the Queensland University of Technology, Gaffney in his most recent role has overseen all of CBRE’s business activities in Hong Kong, including operational management of major business lines, client relationship and engagement programmes, and personnel development and recruitment.
Duncan has nearly 30 years of real estate experience. Before assuming his current role as North Asia president in January 2015, he spent 14 years as president and CEO of CBRE Japan.
Dallas-based CBRE reported a more than 17 percent year-on-year decline in advisory services revenue for the third quarter as commercial real estate capital markets “remained under significant pressure”. In a memo, Duncan described the challenging market conditions as an opportune time to pick up market share and strengthen the business.
“We are in good hands with Tom leading the next exciting chapter for North Asia,” said the outgoing president, who plans to take time off to spend with his family.