CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate brokerage, is shaking up its capital markets team in Asia and its leadership in southern China with a flurry of senior-level job changes in Hong Kong and Shenzhen this month.
Spurred by the region’s booming market for commercial building trades, the US-based firm has promoted Tom Moffat to the newly created role of Head of Capital Markets Asia. Moffat will continue to be based in Hong Kong, where he currently holds the title of Executive Director, Capital Markets, and will take on the expanded position effective July 1.
The announcement comes as CBRE names project management executive Bahtiyar Tay as General Manager of the Shenzhen office, according to a recent statement on WeChat, replacing Ken Kan.
Moffat to Drive Investment Business Across Asia
Moffat will be reporting to Rob Blain, executive chairman for Asia Pacific, and will join the Global Capital Markets team upon stepping into the new role. The 15-year capital markets veteran will now oversee all of the agency’s country-level Capital Markets teams in Asia while continuing to interface with clients and leading the Asia Capital Markets Executive Committee.
“As our Capital Markets business continues to develop significantly across the region, we will continue to interact with new and diverse client groups and to invest in our platform and people,” commented Blain in a statement. “To help facilitate the next phase of growth in our Asia Capital Markets business, Tom is the natural choice to lead this evolving business in this maturing region.”
Moffat relocated to Hong Kong in early 2016, after working in CBRE’s Tokyo office from 2007, where he specialised in the Japanese market with a focus on advising international investors on deals in the country.
CBRE Replaces Shenzhen Boss
CBRE is also tweaking its team in mainland China. An internal company memo viewed by Mingtiandi indicated last week that Bahtiyar Tay, who joined CBRE in 2010 and currently serves as Executive Director of GWS (Global Workspace Solutions) Project Management in East China, will be relocating to Shenzhen in August of this year to take the new managing director role.
The memo states that Tay will succeed Ken Kan, who leaves CBRE with immediate effect. Kan, who came aboard the company in late 2016, has served as managing director of Shenzhen since July of last year.
Tay will now be reporting to Tom Gaffney, Regional Managing Director of the Greater Bay Area & Hong Kong. The company’s Guangzhou office is currently led by Amy Yan, who also reports to Gaffney.
Brokerage Adopts Greater Bay Area Meme
Gaffney was elevated to his current role this month, according to his LinkedIn profile. Based in Hong Kong, the executive now oversees all of the firm’s business activities in the “Greater Bay Area,” a sprawling urban region that encompasses nine mainland cities in Guangdong province, including Shenzhen and Guangzhou, along with Hong Kong and Macau.
China’s central government rolled out the label last year to promote growth in the mega-region with a combined GDP of $1.3 trillion and total population of over 66 million. Proponents have pointed out that this exceeds the population of the San Francisco Bay Area, which apparently neglected to trademark its geolocation nickname.
Gaffney formerly served as Managing Director of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and the upgraded role appears to be part of an overall restructuring of CBRE’s leadership in the region. The brokerage this month also announced it was bringing Cynthia Chu on board from Savills to lead its business in Taiwan in a newly created Regional Managing Director position overseeing the island once known as Formosa.
Chu’s hire followed the departure of CBRE’s Taiwan managing director Joe Lin, who left the company after a sexual harrassment case was presented to the court system, according to an account in the Apple Daily.