Reports of a new head of investment for one of Asia’s largest pension funds lead Mingtiandi’s first roundup of personnel moves for 2023, with Malaysia’s GuocoLand also making the list. Besides those updates, a former Shanghai developer was handed 19 years in prison and there are new directors at a pair of Singapore REITs.
Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) has selected Seo Won-joo as its new chief investment officer, according to local news reports. Seo will be joining the pension fund giant from the Government Employees Pension Service of Korea (GEPS), where he has served as chief investment officer since 2019. The graduate of Yonsei University also has previous experience with Samsung Life Insurance.
GuocoLand announced on 30 December that it has promoted Valerie Wong to managing director for asset management with effect from 1 January. The move gives Wong an upgrade from her current role as group general manager for asset management after she took on that title in August 2021. Wong, who has been with the SGX-listed developer since 2014, is expected to oversee group strategy as GuocoLand expands its asset management business.
A Shanghai court on 30 December sentenced Dai Zhikang, founder and former chairman of Shanghai Zendai Group, to 19 years in prison and a fine of RMB 25.5 million for illegal fund raising. Dai had been in custody since 2019, when he was arrested following an investigation of a peer-to-peer lending business, Laocaibao, set up by Zendai Group. Zendai was best known in Shanghai for developing the RMB 3 billion Himalayas Center in Pudong.
Singapore-listed OUE Commercial REIT said on 30 December that Tan Huay Lim has been appointed as an independent, non-executive director on its board, effective from 1 January. Now 66, Lim was formerly a partner at KPMG Singapore, and since his retirement in 2015 has taken on directorships at firms including Elite Commercial REIT, Dasin Retail Trust and SF REIT Asset Management.
Prime US REIT announced to the Singapore exchange on 31 December that it has appointed Professor Stephen Phua Lye Huat as an independent, non-executive director on its board from 1 January. Now 59, Phua is an associate professor with the faculty of law at National University of Singapore, where he also serves as tax director with the EW Barker Centre for Law and Business. Phua is joining the board as Cheng Ai Phing resigns from the body.
Yuxi Jiang has been promoted to managing director with Bain Capital in Hong Kong, after more than six years as a director with the private equity fund manager. Jiang specialises in private credit and special situations in Greater China, and the Peking University graduate also has previous experience as a vice president with Fiera Capital in Hong Kong, as well as with German finance giant Deutsche Bank.
Gregory Ku has been named head of logistics and industrial with JLL in Hong Kong, according to a LinkedIn update. Ku takes on his new role in the city after one year as a consultant with JLL, a company where he has worked since 1996. Prior to his consulting role, Ku had served as managing director for Macau with the property consultancy from 2005 to 2022, and also had been head of industrial for JLL in Hong Kong from 2002 through 2004.
John Kenneth Lee has been promoted to assistant director with AEW in Hong Kong, according to a LinkedIn update. Lee received his new name cards at the Boston-based real estate fund manager last month after more than two years as an investment associate with the firm. Before joining AEW in 2020, the graduate of Imperial College London also served with Phoenix Property Investors and CBRE in Hong Kong.
If you know of other Asia real estate professionals changing their jobs, getting promoted or just doing something exciting, please contact us here at Mingtiandi.