The manager of Link REIT has appointed three executives to help run Asia’s largest listed trust as it casts a wider net for investment opportunities internationally.
Ronald Tham, most recently of Hong Kong conglomerate Lai Sun Group, is joining Link as chief corporate development officer, and former Vanke hand Haiqun Zhu is assuming the role of managing director for mainland China, Link announced Wednesday in a release.
Also coming aboard is Manulife veteran Kenny Lam as chief investment officer for strategic investment, as reported by Mingtiandi last month. Lam and Tham will report to Link chief executive George Hongchoy, while Zhu will answer to chief financial officer Kok-siong Ng, who has executive responsibility for the mainland market.
“These senior appointments will put us in an even better position to tap into the business prospects that the region presents,” Hongchoy said. “By further leveraging our platform and scale, we can capture both organic and inorganic growth opportunities and look to the future with even more confidence.”
In his new role, Tham is responsible for corporate development, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and capital transactions. Before joining Link, he was an executive director of Lai Sun and previously held senior positions at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Swire Group, HSBC Global Banking and Macquarie Capital.
A fellow member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tham holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Imperial College at the University of London.
Zhu will oversee Link’s mainland operations and is responsible for asset management, leasing and operation, as well as lending support to the identification and execution of M&A opportunities. Most recently he was a partner and vice president at SCPG Group, the commercial property platform of mainland developer Vanke.
Zhu earned a bachelor’s degree in international finance and business from Shenzhen University and an MBA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong before joining Shenzhen International Trust & Investment, where he was involved in finance and investment-related matters.
Lam, who served as senior managing director, Asia chief investment officer and head of Asia transactions at Manulife IM Real Estate from 2017, will take on strategic investment, M&A and portfolio management duties for his new employer.
Before joining Manulife, Lam held various positions in the real estate divisions of financial institutions, such as chief manager of direct property investment at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and executive director of strategic and overseas real estate investment at Ping An Real Estate, based in Hong Kong.
He is a civil engineering graduate of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and earned a master’s degree in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
The latest round of personnel moves comes after Link hired Charter Hall retail veteran Greg Chubb earlier this year as the trust’s chief operating officer for international.
Sydney-based Chubb oversees Link’s asset management, leasing and corporate functions, as well as its operational setup, in Australia, Britain and locations across Asia beyond the REIT’s home city of Hong Kong and its established presence in mainland China.
The HKEX-listed trust, which on Wednesday posted an 8 percent increase in annual revenue but a loss after distributions, has sought to expand beyond the Hong Kong retail sphere after pandemic restrictions and political turmoil disrupted business in recent years.