Veteran investment broker Galven Tan has agreed to join Knight Frank in Singapore as the property consultancy’s chief executive, according to an announcement today, ending a four-year stint at Savills.
Since joining Savills from CBRE in 2019, Tan has advised on major transactions in the city-state including the S$868 million (then $645.6 million) collective sale of the Tanglin Shopping Centre last year and a S$815 million deal for a Paya Lebar residential site which ranked as the largest non-government land sale of 2021.
“There are great investment opportunities in the market for institutional investors and property funds, and there is a steady inflow of private wealth and family offices seeking safe haven in Singapore. All these present growth opportunities,” Knight Frank Singapore executive chairman Danny Yeo said in a statement.
With Tan set to join Knight Frank in February 2024, he will be taking over a spot left vacant since former group managing director Wendy Tang left the UK-based firm in September of 2022.
In a separate statement, Savills expressed gratitude for Tan’s efforts at the company while expressing confidence in its team.
“Despite a tough COVID period, the team led by Jeremy Lake and Galven, had delivered significantly to the firm’s performance and I would like to thank him for his contribution to Savills in our journey to become a market leader in the investment agency business,” said Marcus Loo, chief executive officer for Savills Singapore.
With more than 20 years of industry experience, Tan spent over a decade and a half at CBRE in Singapore, where he worked his way up to executive director with the capital markets team before joining Savills.
In moving to Knight Frank, the 2004 graduate of National University of Singapore will be working independently from long-time colleague Jeremy Lake for the first time in two decades. The duo departed CBRE at the same point in 2019 with Lake joining Savills as managing director for investment sales and capital markets and Tan picking up the title of deputy managing director with the same department.
“We remain totally committed to our clients and the team remains very busy working on a number of active projects, with some key collective sales assignments on Orchard Road worth in excess of S$1.3 billion launching imminently,” Savills’ Lake said.
“We are fortunate to have considerable bench strength and many of my colleagues, especially Hui Yee and Sophia, who have grown more proficient in the industry and have the ability to thrive in the space that Galven leaves behind,” Lake added, referring to Yap Hui Yee, an executive director with its investment sales and capital markets division and Sophia Lim, a director with the same division.
Shifting in a Slow Market
Tan is taking on the top spot at Knight Frank after the city-state experienced lower activity in most of the key real estate sectors during the third quarter.
Trades of income earning assets totalled just $571 million from July through September which was down 74 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to report released on Tuesday by MSCI.
In the residential sector, sales of new homes fell by 15 percent in the third quarter as higher interest rates dampened buyer enthusiasm and a growing pipeline of new projects raised the prospect for lower prices.
In its statement Knight Frank said Tan would initially focus on strengthening the firm’s core service lines by formulating strategies tailored to Knight Frank’s broad customer base, and further developing the firm’s market presence.