Partners Group hires ex-Blackstone MD as Asia RE head

The Swiss asset manager's private real estate Asia team has 20 professionals executing primary, secondaries and direct investments.

Partners Group has made a significant change in its Singapore-based real estate team.

The $109 billion alternatives manager hired Joe Chien as managing director and head of private real estate Asia in February after the quiet departure of co-head Bastian Wolff, a spokesman confirmed.

Chien was a managing director at Blackstone Real Estate with responsibility for initiatives in China and Japan. Prior to that he was an executive director with GreenOak Real Estate Advisors in New York, focused on the US, Greater China and India, according to his corporate biography.

Former co-head of Asia Rahul Ghai became co-head of Europe in February, affiliate publication PERE reported, putting Chien in sole charge of the Asian real estate business. The Singapore team comprises around 20 executives working across primary, secondaries and direct investing.

Wolff was at Partners Group for 15 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He did not respond to a request for comment on his next steps.

Partners Group Secondary 2020 came to market in 2019 targeting $4 billion, a 43 percent increase on its predecessor, Secondaries Investor reported. Partners Group Real Estate Opportunities 2019, which is seeking $3 billion, can also invest in secondaries and direct opportunities.

Among the Asian real estate secondaries deals in market is a single-asset process centred around logistics business GLP China. The process, led by Goldman Sachs, could be as large as $2 billion, Secondaries Investor reported.

Real estate secondaries transactions representing $8.5 billion of net asset value either closed or were placed under contract in 2020, according to research by Landmark Partners. This figure tops the previous record of $8.2 billion in 2015.