Outstanding Asia Pacific Corporate Real Estate Executives 2021


In reviewing some of this year’s outstanding executives in corporate real estate, a wide range of nationalities and skill sets permeate our list. 

Cromwell Property Group’s new leadership headlines the list of regional personnel changes as the Sydney-based fund manager continues to chart a new course after Singapore’s ARA Asset Management and Straits Trading assisted in the formation of a new board earlier this year.

According to its official  announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Cromwell Property Group took on Jonathan Callaghan, the former CEO of Investa Property Group, as its new CEO. Following a protracted battle for management control with now-retired founder Paul Weightman, who left the company at the end of last year, the Australian fund manager, which counts Singapore’s ARA Asset Management and Straits Trading among its largest shareholders, chose ARA ally Gary Weiss as its new chairman in March of this year. Callaghan had been with Investa since 2006, and he was the company’s CEO from 2016 until April of this year. On October 5, he will begin his new job in Sydney.

Jonathan Callaghan

Jonathan Callaghan, CEO Cromwell Group

Jonathan’s vision for Investa as Australia’s leading office owner and manager has never wavered, and his commitment to sustainability, innovation, and operational excellence has resulted in a resilient and forward-thinking company. His dedication to cultivating an open, diverse culture and a highly engaged team has been a hallmark of his tenure, as evidenced by Investa’s win in the AFR Boss Best Places to Work awards this month in the Property, Construction, and Transportation category.” Jonathan contributed and worked as a leader over the last 14 years and the board appreciates his major contributions and accomplishments in successfully growing and transforming the company over multiple cycles.

  Brian Hung                               

Brian Hung, Director APG Asset Management, Hong Kong

After nearly four years as a senior portfolio manager with the Dutch pension fund manager, Brian Hung has been elevated to a director at APG Asset Management in Hong Kong. Since joining APG in 2014, the former Bank of America Merrill Lynch executive has served on the boards of some of Asia Pacific’s top real estate companies, including Scape, an Australian student accommodation company, Virtuous Retail in India, and Suria KLCC, a Malaysian mall developer. He is proficient in English as well as the Chinese language.


Li-Wen Ho

Li-Wen Ho, Director of Hines based in Singapore

Li-Wen Ho recently joined Hines as a director with the US developer and fund manager in Singapore, according to her LinkedIn update. Ho started her new role this month after completing maternity leave and formerly been a director in charge of investor relations with Singapore-based private equity firm SC Capital Partners, where she spent nearly seven years. The graduate of Brown University and the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago also has previous experience with Clearwater Capital Partners and Credit Suisse First Boston.


 Peter Barrell

Peter Barrell, Infrastructure, Google (Singapore)

According to a LinkedIn post, Peter Barrell has joined Google in Singapore as a member of the company’s global infrastructure team. Barrell, who just finished a master’s degree in real estate at the National University of Singapore, formerly worked for WeWork as senior director of real estate for the Asia Pacific for three years, as well as for JLL in Shanghai for six years as an office broker.



  Zhao Jiaxin                                 

Zhao Jiaxin, Deputy Director, Ping An Real Estate (Shanghai)

Zhao Jiaxin has joined Ping An Real Estate in Shanghai as a deputy director in the mainland financial giant’s office management department. Zhao started her new role this month after nearly three years as a manager in the asset management department of Warburg Pincus-backed developer D&J China. Cushman & Wakefield has also worked with the graduate of the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade.


  Felix Liu                                       

Felix Liu, VP of General Services Alibaba Group (Hangzhou)

Felix Liu has been elevated to vice president of general services administration at Alibaba Group in Hangzhou, where he oversees the real estate and intelligent building divisions, as well as the corporate administration and workplace unit and the corporate procurement department. The new role comes after the Jilin University graduate spent more than three years in Alibaba’s corporate administration and workspace department, where he was in charge of the company’s global real estate. He has worked in Nokia, Amazon, and Alibaba, I have experience in Supply Chain, Procurement, Planning, Retail, E-Commerce related areas. Managed virtual, remote, and culturally diverse teams.

 Angela Wang

Angela Wang, Senior real estate manager based in Shanghai for Walmart

Angela Wang has joined Walmart in Shanghai as a senior real estate manager with the US hypermarket operator. Wang took on her new responsibilities after graduating from Columbia Business School in New York with master’s degrees in business administration and real estate development earlier this year. The chartered financial analyst has also worked for Trinity Street Capital Partners in New York as a vice president. Her Linkedin bio says she is an Associate with a proven track record of working in the real estate finance industry. Financial Modeling, Underwriting, Due Diligence, and Deal Structuring are some of my specialties. Strong professional with a Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City in Real Estate Development.

 Samit Chopra

Samit Chopra, President and Chief Executive Officer, EMEA & Pacific for WeWork

WeWork has promoted Samit Chopra to the president and chief operating officer for EMEA and Pacific. Chopra joins WeWork’s international division as managing director for Pacific barely over a year after joining the company as managing director for Pacific. WeWork is aiming to go public this year through a US SPAC after losing $3.2 billion last year.




Claire Cormier

Claire Cormier, Country Leader, Hines (Greater China)

Claire Cormier Thielke has been elevated to the country leader for Hines’ Greater China unit. Cormier Thielke’s function as managing director of the developer’s Asia Pacific business runs concurrently with this one. Cormier Thielke, a former US track, and field athlete is also an independent board director for US real estate website Zillow and an adjunct academic member at Stanford University.



Do you have recommendations for our 2022 list of outstanding Austral-Asian corporate real estate executives? Email your thoughts (with web-quality images) to here.

Deadline for Entries: 25 February 2022

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