Citi appoints six into real estate investment team

Citigroup makes a round of appointments into its new Asian real estate investment team.

Citigroup has hired three investment professionals and relocated three bankers into the Asian division of its Citigroup Property Investors division. The division was set up in March this year and is run by David Schaefer in Hong Kong and Joseph Azrack in New York.

Pius Ho joins the bank from Lasalle Investment Management, a specialist real estate private equity fund. He will be based in Hong Kong with the title of Director of Investments - Asia. Ho had previously worked for Starwood Capital.

Ravi Hansoty joins as a vice president with a focus on India. He was formerly with Morgan Stanley's real estate investment fund based in Seoul and Hong Kong although he had been based in Chicago in recent months. He had previously worked with Schaefer when both were employed by Macquarie and both worked on the acquisition of Schroder's Asian property fund.

Also joining Citi is Howard Zhang who will be a vice president concentrating on China investments. He joins from Deutsche Bank where he had most recently been working on China NPL deals. He previously worked for Dutch property investment fund Rodamco Asia, which was bought by ING in 2004.

Citigroup is also moving Guy Fulton from the real estate lending side of the business in Hong Kong to be an associate in the investment division. Fulton had spent five years with property consultancy Savilles in China setting up their property business on the Mainland.

Two other associates have been transferred to Hong Kong. Farina Chau moves from New York and Kate Budeselick moves from London. Both were already in the Citigroup Property Investors division.

Since opening in March, Schaefer has already done one deal, buying a 155 unit luxury residential development in Macau. According to Schaefer there are other deals in the pipeline. "We're very busy across the region," he says. "I haven't been home for ten days."

Executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles helped with the appointments.