Non-bank owner taps new head of Australia, NZ real estate

The US investment house lures an industry veteran from a Sydney-based property firm

Non-bank owner taps new head of Australia, NZ real estate

New York-based investment company KKR has appointed Tom Lee as managing director and head of Australia and New Zealand real estate, the firm said Monday. Lee will assume the newly created role May 3.

Lee will oversee the investment firm’s real estate platform in Australia and New Zealand, as well as playing a leadership role in expanding its real estate strategies in the region, KKR said.

Lee joins KKR from LOGOS Property, a Sydney-based property investor that focuses on logistics facilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Tom’s proven real estate track record and global industry experience make him the perfect fit to lead our Australia and New Zealand real estate team,” said John Pattar, head of Asia-Pacific real estate at KKR. “We furthermore look forward to working with Tom to establish a pan-Asian core and core-plus real estate strategy to meet the demand for high-quality real estate throughout the region.”

Since 2011, KKR has deployed more than $1.5 billion in equity across about 20 real estate transactions in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report by Pensions & Investments. In January, the firm announced the close of its first Asia real estate fund, KKR Asia Real Estate Partners, for $1.7 billion.

Read more: Pepper Group touts upcoming ASX float

KKR also owns a controlling interest in Pepper Group, a non-bank lender that is currently preparing to take its second run at an ASX float in less than six years. KKR snapped up Pepper Group in 2017 for $675.9 million, according to law firm Jones Day, which represented the non-bank in the transaction.

The current ASX float would involve only Pepper Group Australia and New Zealand, which an independent expert valued at between $440 million and $480 million in 2017.