Australian property major Dexus is extending its regional reach with the opening of a new office in Singapore and the hiring of Brian Kwon as head of distribution for Asia.
The Singapore office will support the growth of Dexus’s funds business and its relationships in the region as Australasian real asset investments continue to attract international capital partners, Sydney-based Dexus said Tuesday in a release.
Dexus CEO Darren Steinberg said the company’s presence in the Lion City would help it grow and manage its client relationships in Asia more effectively.
“This is an important step as we look to expand our investor footprint across Asia in the real asset sector,” Steinberg said.
Kwon’s appointment will support existing Dexus clients — including investors in the Community Infrastructure Fund, which will transfer to the company after Dexus agreed to acquire Collimate Capital’s real estate and domestic infrastructure equity business from financial services firm AMP.
Previously based in Seoul, Kwon has served as senior coverage specialist at DWS Korea, a director at Natixis Investment Managers, vice president of the global alternative investment team at Hanwha Asset Management and senior manager for asset management at Macquarie.
Fluent in both Korean and English, Kwon has built strong relationships in the region and a track record of securing equity for a diverse range of funds, Dexus said.
“The appointment of Brian as a dedicated Asia-focused and Asia-based executive enhances our capability to better service our existing and future Asia-based clients,” said Deborah Coakley, executive general manager for funds management.
Dexus is well acquainted with Asia-based investors, having partnered with Singapore’s Mercatus as owners of the 1 Bligh office tower in downtown Sydney.
Mercatus, the property arm of NTUC Enterprise Co-operative, is reportedly marketing its one-third interest in 1 Bligh after acquiring the stake in March 2021. No target price has been disclosed for Mercatus’s piece of the 29-storey asset located a few blocks west of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
Last November, the Dexus-sponsored Industria REIT agreed to sell a pair of Sydney business parks to the Australian arm of Singapore-listed Frasers Property for A$160.5 million ($106.2 million). The trust divested of 1A and 1C Homebush Bay Drive at a 15 percent discount to current book value of A$189 million to gain some wiggle room to manoeuvre through the global economic turmoil.
In late 2021, Singapore sovereign fund GIC sold its 49 percent stake in Dexus Australia Logistics Trust, a 77-asset warehouse portfolio, to Blackstone. The US private equity giant reportedly paid the equivalent of $1.2 billion for GIC’s share of the logistics vehicle.
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