Sep 10, 2014

    JLL loses investment sales ace

    JLL'S top investment sales broker, Ashish Manchharam, is leaving the group to set up a boutique property investment firm.

    Meanwhile, Tang Wei Leng, Colliers International's executive director of investment services, will join JLL on Nov 1 as regional director of investments. Her arrival at JLL is not linked to Mr Manchharam's decision to move. Talk in the market is that JLL has been courting Ms Tang for a few months as she brings to the firm her network of relationships with local property players.

    Mr Manchharam is best known for doing deals involving institutional players such as big overseas property funds. The 36-year-old, who has spent all 12 years of his career at the property consulting giant, confirmed the move to the Business Times.

    "JLL has provided incredible opportunities for me throughout Asia-Pacific, being based in both Singapore and Hong Kong. After spending over 12 years in investment sales, I have decided to pursue my personal entrepreneurial ambitions," he said on Monday.

    "It has been a difficult decision but I would like to thank my colleagues for all their support in my journey."

    Among the major deals he has brokered are nex mall (50 per cent stake sold for $825 million in 2012), TripleOne Somerset ($970 million) in December, and 77 Robinson Road, which was sold to SEB in 2007. He was also involved in the $1.16 billion sale of Grand Park Orchard hotel and its retail mall Knightsbridge last year, and the 2007 sale of Chevron House for $730 million to a Goldman Sachs fund.

    In China, he handled the US$330 million (S$416 million) sale of Roosevelt Centre in Dalian to ARA Asia Dragon Fund, and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds' US$300 million divestment of the Incity mall portfolio (both in 2009). In Hong Kong, he brokered the US$235 million sale of Fortis Centre to the Hong Kong Housing Society in 2010.

    In early July, JLL promoted Anthony Barr from national director to regional director, investments. Karamjit Singh was also promoted from regional director to international director.

    While the office market has been the bright spot in the Singapore investment sales landscape this year, private residential land sales have been quiet. There has not been a single residential en bloc sale so far this year.

    "Wei Leng...brings with her one of the most stellar and diverse track records in the investment-sales field, including the 2005 sale of DBS towers 1 and 2 (to a Goldman Sachs fund); the second-largest residential collective sale at $835 million of Leedon Heights in 2007 to GuocoLand; and Suntec Reit's divestment of Chijmes in 2011," said Mr Singh.

    Ms Tang, who is in her 40s and a mother of three, was with the firm, then known as Jones Lang Wootton between 1993 and 1995, before moving to Edmund Tie & Company (now known as DTZ). She later joined the real-estate arm of US bank Wachovia in 2007, before moving to Colliers in 2010.