Hong Kong-listed Link REIT on Monday announced the appointment of Charter Hall retail veteran Greg Chubb as the trust’s chief operating officer for international, effective this April.
Chubb will lead and oversee Link REIT’s asset management, leasing and corporate functions, as well as its operational setup in Australia, Britain and locations across Asia beyond the REIT’s home city of Hong Kong and its established presence in mainland China, the trust’s manager said in a release.
Currently chief executive for retail at Charter Hall Group and an executive director of ASX-listed Charter Hall Retail REIT, Chubb will continue to be based in Sydney — where his new employer has recently beefed up its holdings — but is expected to travel frequently as business evolves and borders reopen, a Link representative told Mingtiandi.
“We are delighted to welcome Greg to the Link family,” said Link REIT chief executive George Hongchoy. “He has over 30 years of extensive experience across retail, commercial real estate funds and REIT operations.”
Chubb joined Charter Hall Group in 2014 as head of retail for the Sydney-headquartered property investment management firm. His previous jobs included director of property for Australian retail chain Coles from 2010 to 2014 and managing director for Greater China at JLL and its retail property management offshoot Sandalwood from 2008 to 2010, during which time Chubb was stationed in Link REIT’s hometown of Hong Kong. Earlier he had served as director of retail for ASX-listed real estate giant Mirvac from 2001 to 2008.
After earning a Bachelor of Business in land economy from Western Sydney University, Chubb began a seven-year career at Aussie developer Lendlease, where his roles included project leasing director and leasing manager of major regional shopping centres and large-scale entertainment and leisure complexes.
For Chubb, who serves as joint deputy chairman of the Shopping Centre Council of Australia, the new assignment at Asia’s largest listed trust looks like a good fit after Link REIT recently made a bet on Sydney’s retail rebound with the acquisition of a trio of downtown assets.
In November, Link REIT announced that it was buying half-stakes in the Queen Victoria Building, The Galeries and The Strand Arcade from Singaporean sovereign fund GIC for A$532.8 million ($394 million), marking Sydney’s biggest retail purchase since the dawn of the pandemic.
Hongchoy said Chubb’s expertise in shaping commercial portfolios would be “invaluable to us” as the trust continues to diversify its holdings beyond its home base in Greater China.
On the Move in Greater China
Listed in 2005 as the first REIT in Hong Kong, Link’s HK$206.5 billion ($26.5 billion) portfolio includes retail facilities, car parks and offices spanning Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, London and Sydney.
Two months ago the trust revealed its latest moves in Greater China, announcing the purchase of a pair of car facilities in Hong Kong for a combined HK$5.82 billion and the acquisition of 75 percent stakes in two distribution centres in the cities of Dongguan and Foshan in Guangdong province for a total of RMB 754 million ($118 million).
The trust’s manager last week announced the successful subscription of $600 million in senior notes due in 2032 at a coupon rate of 2.75 percent. The notes will begin trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange this Thursday.
This week saw the debut of Link REIT’s first large-scale asset enhancement project in mainland China as the $350 million Link CentralWalk in Shenzhen held its official grand opening. The green area of the mall in Futian central business district now spans more than 18,000 square metres (193,750 square feet), and the total green coverage ratio has been raised by 10 percentage points to 43.1 percent, with as many as 36 kinds of plants used, Link REIT said.