Published July 12, 2007

Consultants leave amid property boom

Directors at JLL and DTZ among those who have quit


IN THE red-hot property market, some property consultancies are seeing departures from their investment sales departments.

Lim Song Hai and Quek Soh Hoon, national director and local director respectively at Jones Lang LaSalle's (JLL) investments department, have quit the firm.

Over at DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, Anthony Seah, associate director (investment advisory services), is leaving. Mr Seah is heading for property fund manager Develica Asia-Pacific, where he will be investment director.

Develica last month bought 1 Finlayson Green for just under $231 million.

Mr Lim left JLL at the end of last month and is now said to be taking a break before deciding on his next career move.

Market watchers expect him to stay in the investment sales business but perhaps focus more on the regional business instead of the Singapore market.

Ms Quek is still serving her notice at JLL; her last day will be July 19.

JLL's regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt described the departures as 'part of the attrition and the organic growth process'.

He said that following the two departures, the investments department will have a total of 12 staff, including associate director Stella Hoh and senior manager David Batchelor, and may see some internal promotions.

He said: 'We are setting up a new team to focus on institutional transactions serving clients who are primarily property funds seeking office, commercial and retail property acquisitions in Singapore.

'So far we have four members in this team and may recruit more. These are mostly people with investment banking-type experience and who can talk the financial lingo that funds speak in.'

The current 12-member investments team will focus more on collective sales, development sites and sales of completed residential projects.

Market watchers note that JLL has been garnering a bigger share of brokering office investment sales deals lately, such as SGX Centre, SIA Building, Parakou Building and 78 Shenton Way, following the arrival of its new managing director (South-east Asia) Chris Fossick, who was one of Singapore's top office leasing dealmakers during his days at CB Richard Ellis here.

Last month, BT reported the departure of DTZ's director (investment advisory services) Tang Wei Leng to join Wachovia group of United States.

DTZ's auction director Shaun Poh has assumed Ms Tang's former responsibilities as head of investment advisory services for both Singapore and South-east Asia.