Need Advise - RE Career in Asia

Hi All,

I graduated from a semi-target last year and have been working in a medium size NYC REPE shop for about a year now. I think my future career is in Asia so Im beginning to look at RE opportunities inHK.

My background:

born and raised in China, understand both culture really well
IB, boutique local PE internship experience in mainland china
Native mandarin speaker
Strong interested in the gaming&lodging sector

Who should I try to talk to in HK? How about the recruitment process? Would like to know the most active and respected group in Asia, could be IB, REPE, AM, and developer.

Thanks in advance!

Best Response

Nearly every RE fund, REIT, PE job advertised in HK requires mandarin which is a plus for you - best bet is to start looking at some of the recruitment firm ads for real estate and speaking to some of the recruiters. McDonald & Company posts a lot of relevant jobs but have never interacted with them.

Banks for IB (also AM) you might want to look at MS, DB, JPM, UBS, CS, GS.

PE the list could be far longer with lots of smaller Asia focused firms that are very active but big players are Blackstone, KKR, Gaw Capital, Phoenix Property, Carlyle, Warburg Pincus.

AM/IM - CBRE GI (ING), LaSalle IM, Angelo Gordon, PAG, Pramerica, Invesco, CLSA Capital Partners, Fortress, Mapletree, BlackRock, (MGPA), Heitman.

You might also be interested in some of the pension or Insurance platforms - e.g. CPPIB, AIA, Anbang, Ping An

From the propco/developer side, a lot of this is country specific with some out bound, with lots of names for China, HK, Singapore but you are seeing greater interest from US and Canada, e.g. Ivanhoe, Brookfield, Tishman.

If you are looking for a good resource then PERE has an APAC business line and Asia Property Magazine is really useful for deals and fundraising intel.

Outside of grad recruitment, the process if far less formal than back home (UK). I cannot comment on the US. Networking is paramount but also recruiters are useful; due to the requirement for languages often firms will need to look to US/Aus/UK for returnees. In my experience firms will even look to unrelated business lines within, middle office etc) providing there is a language capability. From a technical stand point if you have a solid grasp of RE buy side modelling you should be fine.



I was raised in Asia, minored in Mandarin at college, and did AM for a very large landlord in Asia (same level as BXP or VNO in the states) and now working on the buy-side for a family office in NYC.

My experience and exposure is to developers based in China and Hong Kong but they invest pan Asia so I'll touch on that and hope it helps!

Here is how I view it; there three types of investors that seem to align with your area of expertise:

1) Local developers/landlord/publicly traded firms with huge balance sheets that do not usually need to partner with equity funds (think Sun Hung Kai, Sino Land, Kerry Properties, China Chem, Vanke, SoHo Land, Hongkong Land, Swire etc) Some of these guys have a core portfolio that dates back to when China/HK were run by the Brits. I worked for one of these guys, amazing company...Insane access to capital; develop and hold strategy rather then sell. PM me if you want to know more.

2) Asia based Funds like Capitaland, Asia Pacific Land, Gaw Capital. I don't know a lot about local funds in Asia to be honest and I don't know how much value you bring given you don't really have experience in Asia.

3) Then you have US funds that partner with smaller local developers/managers (think Tishman, Colony Capital, Carlyle, Angelo Gordon etc) I would say this is your best bet, given you understand how US funds are structured, bridging that dichotomy might be something that they would find valuable.

If you make the jump would love to hear more, I've always wanted to get back out there at some point!


Despite many requiring Mandarin/Cantonese which of course means opening up the possibility of sourcing and looking at deals in China (where just about every RE fund is looking at) there are still quite a few roles that you can get by with just English...

Get in touch with Capstone recruitment and Macdonald and Co in HK for some pan-Asia re fund roles , as they tend to specialise in this deptment.

I'd send you a PM but I can t it seems due my lack of bananas #fml


Would love to hear more perspective on this.

Do many of these funds hire from REIB backgrounds? Would getting a MSRED be of any use in getting my foot in the door? I am overseas educated and work in one of the big 4 RE consultancy firms right now.


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