Oxford Properties Expands its Asia Team in Singapore

Michael Cole of Mingtiadi reports Canada's Oxford Properties is expanding its Asia team in Singapore:

Canada’s Oxford Properties is growing its capabilities in Asia Pacific with the real estate investment firm having recently added a pair of senior executives to its team in Singapore, according to company representatives who spoke with Mingtiandi.

Former Apollo Global Management principal Chirag Gupta joined the property investment division of pension fund manager Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) this month as a director with its real estate investment team.

“We are pleased to welcome Chirag Gupta to our growing Singapore team,” Alessandro Fiascaris, head of investments for Asia Pacific at Oxford Properties told Mingtiandi. “An experienced investment professional with local experience of working both in Singapore and India, he will add strength and depth to our team as we look to grow our presence and exposure to Asia Pacific which is an important growth region in our high conviction investment strategies.”

The former Blackstone managing director also called attention to the firm’s transfer of a senior member of its Ontario crew to Southeast Asia.

“We have also welcomed Shane Miyama to our Singapore team who has spent more than 16 years in progressively senior roles across investment and development at Oxford’s global headquarters in Toronto,” Fiascaris said. “As development director, he will add his vast experience and focus on development projects and ventures in Asia Pacific.”

Team-Building in the Little Red Dot

Gupta and Miyama are joining Oxford Properties’ base in Singapore just under eight months after Fiascaris left behind his 18-year stint at Blackstone to help pilot the $54 billion investment fund’s activities in Asia Pacific.

Gupta spent more than seven years with Apollo in both Singapore and India, and also has earlier experience with HSBC, Colliers and Rezone Investment Advisors in India.

Miyama has now been with Oxford for 16 years and has served as a director with its development team since the beginning of 2017.

The firm’s website shows that it is currently hiring for six roles in Singapore, including executives for its capital markets and infrastructure teams.

Industrial Focus

Globally, industrial accounts for around 40 percent of Oxford’s investment portfolio, with the firm having taken a cornerstone stake in ESR’s $1.6 billion 2019 IPO as well as backing GLP ventures.

Public records show that OMERS currently holds a 10.2 percent stake in ESR, and in 2018 Oxford teamed up with its compatriots at Vancouver-based QuadReal Property Group and other investors to back European-focused GLP funds which raised $4 billion.

More recently the firm has been pursuing multi-family investments in Australia where it has set the goal of building 5,000 apartments through the Indi division of its Sydney-based Investa division.

In February this year Oxford Properties sold down some of its office holdings in Australia when Hong Kong’s Link REIT agreed to pay $428.2 million for a 49.9 percent stake in an Investa portfolio of office assets in Sydney and Melbourne.

Oxford Properties is expanding its team in Singapore hiring former Apollo Global Management principal Chirag Gupta and bringing in Shane Miyama who has spent more than 16 years in progressively senior roles across investment and development at Oxford’s global headquarters in Toronto.

The caliber of the people is exceptional, starting with longtime Blackstone executive Alessandro Fiascaris who was hired earlier this year as Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific:

Oxford Properties Group (“Oxford”), a leading global real estate investor, asset manager and business builder, has appointed Alessandro Fiascaris as Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific. Alessandro will be based in Singapore and will lead Oxford’s Asia-Pacific business and team.

Oxford’s presence in the region has grown considerably in recent years and, together with its portfolio companies, manages over US$10B of capital in Asia-Pacific. Alessandro’ appointment adds an on the ground leader to Oxford’s pool of talented senior professionals operating out of Singapore and Sydney. Oxford has grown its footprint in Asia-Pacific through a variety of direct and indirect investments as well as its investment in Austalia’s Investa platfrom in 2020. Last year, Oxford provided the financial backing to Investa to launch Indi, which aims to become the preeminent build to rent residential platform in Australia.

Alessandro joins Oxford from Blackstone, where he has spent his entire career to date. Most recently he was a Managing Director in Singapore, working on larger regional deals across traditional and new sectors in Asia-Pacific.

Alessandro has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Michael Turner, President of Oxford Properties, commented:Alessandro’s appointment allows us to add a highly respected senior leader to lead the team on the ground in Asia, bringing with him a wealth of experience to Oxford, including an impressive track record of delivering high-profile deals in multiple sectors across the region. His ability to build and lead effective teams will be invaluable as we continue to increase our footprint and deploy further capital in what is an important growth region in our high-conviction investment strategies.”

Alessandro Fiascaris, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific, added: “Oxford has both the access to capital and entrepreneurial spirit to complete complex transactions across a range of entry points. I look forward to working with Oxford’s talented global team to further build our presence in Asia-Pacific.”

It is worth noting that just like OMERS Infrastructure and OMERS Private Equity, Oxford Properties does manage third party money by partnering with leading, like-minded global institutional investors on co-investments across multiple strategies, markets and sectors.

An example of this is the formation of a 50:50 joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management (“NBIM”) at the iconic Sony Center in Berlin. NBIM paid €677 million to acquire a 50% ownership interest in the Sony Center with Oxford retaining a 50% interest in the property and act as asset manager on behalf of the new joint venture. (See details here).

When you're co-investing with the likes of NBIM, competing for top talent is critical and Oxford Properties realizes they need to have a strong presence everywhere, including Asia-Pacific which is growing fast. 

Asia-Pacific currently accounts for 16% of Oxford Properties' $80 billion in assets and it could easily rise to as much as 25% in the next five years depending on the opportunity set.

Alessandro Fiascaris and his team will be busy investing across sectors and strategies but logistics and multifamily properties will remain key conviction areas in the region. 

As mentioned above the 2019 US$1.6 billion IPO of ESR was a huge deal as was the backing of GLP Ventures along with QuadReal Property Group, BCI's real estate subsidiary. 

It also partnered with Investa last year and launched a build to rent (‘BTR’) management platform, Indi,which intends to develop a prime portfolio of 5,000 apartments and become the preeminent BTR platform in Australia where the nascent BTR industry represents a significant opportunity for institutional investors.

The latest figures on Oxford's site show they are currently at 29% in Industrials and 8% in Residential:

I don't know if these figures are updated regularly but it demonstrates how Oxford Properties has quickly scaled into logistics over the last couple of years and how it is forging strong partnerships to develop new build to rent platforms in Australia and elsewhere.

All this to say, Oxford Properties is a leading global real estate investor, developer and asset manager which has produced solid long-term results for OMERS' members (10% on average over 10, 15 and 20 years) and it is on track for another good year

I have no doubt their activities in Asia-Pacific will pick up considerably and look forward to covering more deals as they arise (track the latest news here).

Below, learn more about what Oxford Properties does and how they serve a select group of leading, like-minded global institutional investors that co-invest and partner with them across multiple strategies, markets and sectors. These partners value their conviction and creativity, track record of outperformance and the alignment of interests that comes from maintaining substantial skin in the game.