With new funds being raised and new joint venture agreements signed by property fund managers, churn has begun among senior-level executives in both global and domestic real estate asset management firms. In the past one month, at least half a dozen senior executives have quit to join rivals or set up own ventures.
Chanakya Chakravarti, managing director, real estate acquisitions, JP Morgan Asset Management, has quit joining Ivanhoé Cambridge, the property investment arm of Canadian fund manager CDPQ, in a senior role, sources said. Chakravarti has over 20 years of experience in real estate and worked in firms like Actis, and Cushman & Wakefield. He did not respond to the text messages seeking his comment.
It is also looking to invest in logistics and other sectors. Ivanhoé and another investor have also put in $400 million in logistics company LOGOS India, promoted by LOGOS and Assetz Property Group.
In another development, Yash Gupta, senior managing director and country head of US-based property investor Hines India, has resigned from the firm, sources said. Hines India has assets under management (AUM) of $470 million and invested in both commercial office and residential projects in the country. He is believed to be setting up his own real estate venture.
Gupta could not be contacted for comment. “Markets are growing again. New capital is coming and good opportunities are coming up, which are driving demand for good professionals,” said Shobhit Agarwal, managing director, capital markets at JLL, a property consultant.
Recently, Germany-based Allianz floated a $500-million fund to invest in Indian office properties, along with Shapoorji Pallonji Group. Shapoorji has also tied up with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to invest in office properties. Last Monday, IndoSpace, an investor/developer of industrial and logistics parks announced that the chief executive of Bengaluru-based Mantri Developers, Aditya Sikri, would join the firm as president.
Sikri has over 18 years of real estate experience in India and internationally. In May, the Canadian pension fund manager Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and IndoSpace, promoted by PE firm Everstone and US-based Realterm, had entered into a three-step deal which would entail an investment of $1.3 billion (Rs 8,320 crore), most of which would come from the CPPIB. According to sources, the Indian unit of Singapore-based Ascendas has also hired new executives from other organisations in various roles.
Even domestic fund managers have also seen a churn in recent weeks. After a decade, Sandeep Agarwal, executive director at Kotak Realty Fund, left the fund manager to join the non-banking finance company set up by Centrum to head its real estate vertical.
Recently, Ajay Jain, executive director-investment banking and head of real estate at Centrum Capital, left to join Sun Capital Advisory Services as joint managing director. Jain said the churn was happening due to renewed interest by global PE funds and FIIs and a surge of liquidity among NBFCs and PE funds.