Deutsche Asset Management has lost another senior executive following the departure of its chief executive and chief operating officer early last year and Philip Levinson's move from DeAM subsidiary RREEF Alternative Investments to the Blackstone Group in July.

The German's firm's loss is Standard Chartered Real Estate's gain, as the UK bank looks to ramp up its proprietary investment in property, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Brian Chinappi has left his post as Asia-Pacific head of acquisitions at RREEF to join Standard Chartered as global head of real estate investment for the bank's principal-investing platform in Hong Kong. He'll take up the new post in June, effectively replacing Richard Johnson.

Johnson left the bank in August after the closure of its real-estate fund joint venture with Istithmar World Real Estate, the investment arm of Dubai World. He had been chief executive of the JV, which Standard Chartered rebranded as its wholly owned project after the Emirati developer pulled out.

Standard Chartered Real Estate also lost its China head, Gao Shibin, late last year, and someone has been filling in for him from Singapore, a Hong Kong-based recruiter tells AsianInvestor. The bank would not say whether it has replaced or plans to replace Gao.

Standard Chartered now has ambitious plans to expand its principal investment in property and has handed Chinappi a mandate to do just that, says the recruiter. The bank declined to confirm this.

Chinappi reports to Joe Stevens, global head of principal finance in Singapore, who runs proprietary investments in special situations, real estate, infrastructure and private equity.

The bank's existing property investment team includes chief operating officer Mabel Chu and Rai Katimansah as managing director of investments, both based in Singapore.

Standard Chartered's real estate platform is its vehicle for making property investments in Asia, with a primary focus on China, Hong Kong, India, Korea and Singapore. It invests in mispriced assets, mezzanine loans, preferred-equity deals, ground-up development, mismanaged assets that require capital investment and repositioning, and "opportunities in the overlooked sector of medium-size deals", says the bank.