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Prudential Real Estate Investors expansion in Asia Pacific

The new hires include a recently appointed portfolio manager in Tokyo, along with asset management, research and marketing staff in Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong, and follow the company’s expansion to Beijing, Sydney and Seoul within the last year.  PREI is the real estate asset management and advisory business of Prudential Financial.

‘Asia Pacific’s economies remain fundamentally strong, even amid global economic turmoil, and by expanding our team, we can create new strategies to capitalize on opportunities for institutional investors,’ said Victoria Shigehira Sharpe, chief executive officer of Pramerica Real Estate Investors Asia Pacific.
‘I’m delighted to welcome these professionals to our team. They each help to deepen our local knowledge in key countries or property sectors as we continue to build our business in this important region,’ she added.

PREI has been operating in Asia Pacific on behalf of institutional clients since 1994 and manages gross assets of $7.2 billion ($3.9 billion net as of June 30, 2011), investing in Japan, South Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Australia and India. The company recently opened an office in Beijing, naming company veteran Jason Chew managing director of Greater China. PREI has also added representatives in Australia and Korea, and expanded its office in Tokyo.

Koichiro Maeda, is the new managing director and portfolio manager for Prudential Real Estate Investors (Japan) K.K. Maeda, based in Tokyo, brings more than 18 years of real estate experience in the real estate industry and most recently worked at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, where he was an executive director specializing in real estate within its investment banking unit who advised clients in the real estate sector on a range of issues including private fund placement transactions and private cross border merger and acquisition deals.

He was also a member of the global private capital markets team responsible for Asian institutional investors.  He joined Morgan Stanley’s real estate investment banking group in 2003.

Benett Theseira, managing director, Southeast Asia, is based in Singapore and responsible for PREI’s large retail property investment portfolio. Before joining Prudential, he was president of MEAG Pacific Star Asia and Pacific Star Capital, responsible for the investment and fund Management business in Asia for more than six years. During this time, he successfully launched Pacific Star’s €1.2billion Asia RE Income Fund and led more than US$2 billion of real estate transactions across Asia.  Earlier, he held various roles with the CapitaLand group, including managing director, Europe, and chief corporate and investment officer for CapitaLand’s listed company, Ascott Group Ltd.  He started his career with the Singapore government in the Ministry of Law as Assistant Commissioner of Lands.
Taeyun Won, recently appointed managing director, is responsible for investments and client management in Korea. Won, a pioneer in structuring tax efficient real estate transactions for foreign and domestic institutional investors including the use of asset backed securitization, real estate funds, project financing vehicles and real estate investment trusts, spent 17 years as a lawyer in large American and Korean law firms, specializing in real estate transactions.

As a commercial real estate lawyer at Evergreen Law Group and Shin & Kim in Seoul, Won represented numerous international and domestic real estate investors in their acquisition and disposition of large scale commercial, residential and retail properties in Korea.  He also advised numerous institutional clients in complex urban redevelopment projects in Korea.

Henry Chin, head of Asia Pacific research and strategy, is based in Hong Kong and responsible for developing and providing real estate investment strategies in Asia Pacific. His research guides decision-making across the business, at strategic and tactical levels, and helps to provide perspective on market issues. Chin joined the company from Deutsche Bank, where he held several roles, including Global Real Estate Strategist and co head of real estate in the Asia Pacific for the private banking business.

In the Asia Pacific role, he was responsible for originating third party real estate funds and marketing them to high net worth clients. Earlier, Chin was the global real estate strategist at RREEF’s offices in London and Hong Kong, where he developed and coordinated RREEF Alternative Investments’ global coverage of real estate markets.  He is an assistant professor at National Taipei University in Taiwan, a guest lecturer at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, and a regular speaker at Hong Kong University.

Joyce Lo, senior vice president, is based in Hong Kong and responsible for supporting client management efforts and product development in the Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) region. She was most recently at a specialist Asian real estate investment manager, Sniper Capital, where she led capital raising and investor relations.

Earlier, Lo spent more than 10 years at Lehman Brothers Asia, where she began her career in 1999 as an investment banking analyst and became a vice president and investment professional at Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners. Following Lehman’s bankruptcy, she continued to work for the fund under the administration, and assumed the role of chief administrative officer for the Asia region in March 2009 to ensure business continuity.

The recent hirings follow the announcement earlier this year of the appointment of Steve Bulloch to lead the firm’s expansion into Australia and responsible for sourcing property acquisition opportunities for PREI’s current institutional clients.

Additionally, he will provide a local contact point for Australian institutional investors, build relationships with real estate professionals and identify new capital raising opportunities as PREI develops new products for the region.
Before joining PREI, Bulloch was executive director and head of property for Hastings Funds Management, where he was also a member of the executive management team and Hastings’ investment committee. Earlier, Bulloch was head of property within Westpac’s Specialised Capital Group and spent more than eight years with Macquarie Bank’s property investment banking team, where he focused on principal equity transactions and product development.