Manulife Investment Management on Monday confirmed that it has brought back Kenny Lam for a return engagement, who left the company in May last year to join Hong Kong’s Link REIT.
Lam began serving as chief investment officer and head of transactions for Asia Pacific real estate at the Canadian financial services titan on 1 October – less than a year and a half after leaving his post as chief investment officer for Asia and head of Asia transactions for the company’s real estate division.
“We are pleased to welcome Kenny back to our team, and we look forward to his contributions in the continuous growth of our Asia Pacific real estate business,” said Marc Feliciano, global head of private market real estate for Manulife Investment Management. “Kenny will play a key role in expanding our investment offerings in Asia, a market of enormous importance in our global real estate growth strategy.”
Based in Hong Kong, Lam will report to Feliciano in the new role, where he will be expected to expand the team into new geographies in the region, while managing Manulife Investment Management’s real estate portfolio, identifying and investing in new real estate investment opportunities, the company said.
Global Capabilities, Evolving Needs
Mingtiandi had reported Lam’s departure from his role as chief investment officer for strategic investment at Link REIT last month, and in accepting the refurbished position at Manulife IM, Lam highlighted the chance to achieve returns for investors in Asian real estate.
“Through the expansion of the team, we look forward to bringing new solutions that better leverage our global capabilities in capturing market opportunities and meeting clients’ evolving needs,” Lam said. “Asia Pacific possesses significant opportunities in the private real estate market, given the rapid business and demographic evolutions in the region, and could generate the types of long-term values that our clients would expect from an international investment manager.”
Lam officially stayed at his role at Link REIT through the end of last month after coming on board last year to help lead the expansion of Asia’s largest real estate investment trust into new geographies and a broader spectrum of strategies. Following Lam’s departure, Link REIT chief executive George Hongchoy assumed interim leadership of the strategic investment team formerly led by Lam.
In its statement, Manulife IM credited Lam with having led key transactions during his previous tenure with the team.
Among these deals was the 2022 establishment of a $170 million joint venture with Kenedix to pursue multifamily assets in Japan as well as a joint acquisition with Logos that year of a $80 million logistics facility near Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2021 Lam had been responsible for Manulife IM’s purchase of 39 Martin Place Sydney in Australia in partnership with Investa Commercial Property Fund, and in 2020 had directed the firm’s tie-up with a consortium of investors to acquire Cityplaza One in Hong Kong from Swire Properties for $1.27 billion.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Lam had first joined Manulife IM in 2017. He also worked earlier stints with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority as chief manager for direct investment on its global real estate team from 2015 through 2017. Lam also has previous experience with Ping An Real Estate in Shanghai and JP Morgan Asset Management.
With Lam on his way last year, Manulife Investment Management in April had promoted Jessie Liu to head of transactions and portfolio management for Asia real estate private markets, however, Liu left the firm during the second quarter of this year.