Savills Investment Management (Savills IM) has appointed Hsueh Ling Ng to the newly created role of head of Asia Pacific ex-Japan, where she will be responsible for managing the firm’s investment and client capital teams in some of the region’s largest markets.
The property investment arm of London-based brokerage Savills Plc has created the role and brought Ng on board as it seeks to broaden its client base in Asia Pacific and capitalise on the region’s investment case, which the fund manager described in an announcement on Wednesday as offering compelling opportunities to leverage economic growth and to allow investors from other regions to diversify their portfolios.
Based in Singapore, Ng will take up her role later this month and report to Savills IM’s chief executive, Alex Jeffrey.
“We are delighted to welcome Hsueh Ling to Savills IM,” Singapore-based Jeffrey said in a release. “With over 30 years’ experience in the real estate industry and an impressive track record of driving business growth, she has the right credentials to lead our APAC team and to work with our clients across the region. The newly created role will be vital in building on our strong presence in the region at what is a key time in the economic cycle, and specifically within the real estate sector.”
Ng joins Savills IM from Sydney-based developer and investment manager Lendlease, where she had served as managing director and head of Singapore since 2017, in addition to chairing the company’s Singapore-listed trust, Lendlease Global Commercial REIT, since 2021.
Before joining the Aussie group, Ng served as chief executive of the manager of Singapore’s Keppel REIT for eight years, with the National University of Singapore graduate having also worked stints as chief executive for Korea and Japan as well as senior vice president of fund business development and real estate fund management at Ascendas before that firm merged with CapitaLand.
With regional offices in Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok and Sydney, Savills IM currently manages around $1.5 billion in Asia Pacific assets and is investing $7 billion into global real estate on behalf of Asia Pacific-based clients. Worldwide, Savills IM managed $27 billion of assets as of September 2023.
Ramping Up in Asia
In announcing Ng’s hire, Savills IM said it has plans for substantial growth in its Asia Pacific business.
The fund manager made several acquisitions in the region in 2022, including picking its first Japanese investments under the firm’s flagship pan-Asian fund. Those purchases included an office building near Yokohama Station in Greater Tokyo as well as a 13-asset portfolio comprising seven multifamily buildings and six master-leased dormitories located across Greater Tokyo and central Fukuoka.
During that same year, Savills IM purchased a Brisbane office building from the UK’s M&G Real Estate for A$110 million ($74.9 million), as well as a 75 percent interest in a Perth neighbourhood mall for €54 million ($53.7 million).
Those deals followed the fund manager’s $117 million acquisition of an 11-storey office building in Sydney’s Mascot suburb and the $112 million purchase of a shopping centre in the inland Queensland city of Toowoomba.
In its home market of the UK, the fund manager has collaborated with the Singapore-based family office of ARA Asset Management founder John Lim on several projects, including a £200 million ($241 million) fund to develop build-to-rent housing, as well as a retail park fund.
This past December a Savills IM joint venture with Korea’s Vestas Investment Management sold an office building in London’s West End area to Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate and Dutch developer Edge for a reported £150 million ($189 million).
In 2021 Korean insurer Samsung Life paid £63.75 million to acquire a 25 percent stake in Savills IM.