The UK's Prudential has set up a real-estate investment company in Singapore to target opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. PruPim (Prudential Property Investment Management) is part of the M&G Group, which in turn is a unit of the asset management arm of Prudential Plc in the United Kingdom and Europe.

PruPim Singapore will be run by Jonathan Allen, who has joined as CEO after spending four years with Prudential in Asia, most recently as head of its regional asset management product group. He will be replaced in his former job by Stuart Guinness.

"We will source capital for our European product range rather than rebuild," says Allen from Singapore. "That will allow us to develop scalable product offers in each geography for clients globally."

H. Shiram has been named COO and CFO. He joins from PCA Investment Trust Management in Korea, where he served as COO for four years. Prem Subramanian has transferred from India to assume the COO role in Seoul.

Other senior managers also have a Prudential background. Ramesh Shanbhag will serve as head of treasury and financial controller, having spent six years at Prudential ICICI Fund Management in India, where he managed fund accounting, treasury operations and settlements. David Askham, PruPim Singapore's new investment director, joined the firm in London in 2001, and has spent the past two years in Vietnam working at the firm's local mutual fund operation.

Two others join the team from outside: Scott Girard, head of strategy and research, has been based in Korea since 2002 for property company Jones Lang LaSalle, while Schutz Lee, head of marketing and investor relations, joins from ING Real Estate, where she had served as regional marketing manager.

Lastly, in London, Trevor Hankin joins as CIO for Asia Pacific and UK director of fund management. He has been with PruPim for 30 years and remains based in the UK.

PruPim SingaporeÆs initial focus is in the developed markets of Asia Pacific, most importantly Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan, but the team will also source investments in less developed markets.

ôWe are also looking to how we can develop a longer term presence in countries such as India and China, to leverage and compliment Prudential's existing fund management capability in these countries,ö says Allen. ôFinally, where we see the presence for opportunistic developments in emerging Asia, in countries such as Vietnam, we will seek to develop offerings in this space as well.ö

With regard to the kind of deals and deals and putative structures that the firm will be formulating, Allen adds: ôIn developed Asia we will be focusing on core/core-plus deals. In developing Asia we will be looking at core-plus, value-added and opportunistic. We will be seeking to deliver a core-plus proposition via an open-ended, privately-placed offshore structure. Where appropriate, for merging countries we will also look at a combination of privately placed and listed structures.ö