LaSalle Investment Management has named David Edwards as president of the firm's Asia Property Fund. Kenneth Tsang, who joined LaSalle at the start of February, has taken on Edwards' previous role of Asia-Pacific head of research and strategy, which he held for the last four years.
Edwards will assume responsibility for LaSalle's flagship Asia Property Fund, which was co-sponsored by LaSalle Investment Management and a UK-based partner, Prudential Property Investment Management (PruPim), a subsidiary of Prudential Plc.
Asia Property Fund is a core, pan-Asia Pacific, open-ended fund for institutional investors and pension schemes. Edwards will lead a fund team comprising Christine Mount, Janica Tan, Arabella Edwards and Yujung Kim, supported by LaSalle's platform of nearly 200 staff in Asia-Pacific and a dedicated team at the partner.
This is a fund for those interested in established investment properties as opposed to an opportunistic fund. The fund's existing assets will largely be representative of the profile of the fund in the future, namely institutional-grade quality in core locations generating a high proportion of returns through rental income.
Tsang, who is be based in Hong Kong, will work closely with the global strategy team, which analyses capital markets, regional economies and property markets in 150 metropolitan areas and 30 countries. He reports to Jacques Gordon, international director of investment strategy and research, based in Chicago, and Ian Mackie, CIO for Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore.
Tsang joins LaSalle from ING Real Estate Management in Hong Kong where he was responsible for the firm's strategy and research functions in Asia. He also previously worked for Jones Lang LaSalle as head of research for Greater China.
LaSalle, which is part of the Jones Lang LaSalle group, has around $50 billion in assets under management worldwide. It is active across a range of real estate capital and operating markets including private and public, debt and equity.
In a recent report, LaSalle says China's property market is undergoing a relatively slower price correction in part due to the mainland's economic stimulus package. Thus, in China, the firm is taking a cautious approach and is not rushing to invest aggressively.
This year is a time to carefully evaluate the opportunities available in the global property market, says the firm.
Among the opportunities are: real estate investment trusts that are trading at a massive discount; fund units trading at steep discounts; non-performing loans or pools of partially performing loans; and defaulted land deals or development deals in need of recapitalisation, but priced such that investors get incomplete improvements at close to zero cost.