The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) has hired Kishore Gotety, who was most recently at RREEF, as country head for India real estate.
GIC confirmed the appointment of Gotety as head of real estate for India but declined to comment further. However, the hire suggests GIC believes the opportunity is ripe to start investing in real estate in India.
Gotety was earlier with RREEF Alternative Investments, the global alternative investments business of Deutsche Bank’s asset management division. Real estate is one of RREEF’s core businesses. Gotety joined RREEF at the end of 2007 as head of Deutsche Asset Management’s real estate and infrastructure investment advisory services in India and was widely expected to spearhead the firm’s expansion there.
In January 2008 Gotety closed the first real estate deal for RREEF in India, a $70 million investment in Golden Gate Properties. But the credit crisis caused RREEF to take a pause in its India investments and consequently Gotety was transferred to Hong Kong last year as head of portfolio management for Asia-Pacific in RREEF’s global opportunistic investments team.
He joined RREEF from the ICICI group’s private equity firm ICICI Venture where he was director of investments, heading the real estate investment and funds management business. In this capacity he closed more than 10 real estate investments for ICICI Venture.
Gotety is the most recent in a series of high-level departures from RREEF in Asia. Early this year, Hong Kong-based chief investment officer Mark Fogle, who had been with RREEF since 2007, left to become chief executive officer of investment fund Amur Capital Partners. Media reported that Amur has been backed by some wealthy Hong Kong-based families.
Around the same time, Brian Chinappi, a RREEF veteran who had been with the firm since 1999 and who was head of acquisitions for Asia ex-Japan, left to join Standard Chartered as global head of real estate investment. A specialist not connected to the developments said the departures could have been precipitated by the fact that, on a relative basis, property valuations in Western markets currently seem cheaper than those in Asia, and global real estate investors are thus putting less focus on Asia.
But GIC, which manages in excess of $100 billion, obviously has the resources and management bandwidth to spread its real estate investments across the globe and, with its headquarters in Singapore, Asia is an obvious place to scout for investments. GIC said last year that it intended to increase its allocation to real estate. In hiring Gotety, the firm has found someone well-suited to identify and close investments in a new market, namely India.