Investment pioneer James Quille bullish on Thailand property


Real estate developer Kingdom Property launched the first in a series of round-table dinner talks at Grand Hyatt Erawan Ballroom last month, and luminaries from the city’s leading property, banking and investment companies gathered to hear the keynote address of prominent fund manager and investor James Quille.

Quille, Chairman of Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA), with assets under management (AUM) of US$12 billion and one of Private Equity Real Estate magazine’s top 30 most influential global investors, was upbeat on property investment in Thailand, and Asia in general, saying there was a strong trend towards more direct investment in real estate.

Kingdom Property CEO Nigel Cornick (centre left) poses for a photo with James Quille, Chairman of Macquarie Global Property Advisors (centre right).Kingdom Property CEO Nigel Cornick (centre left) poses for a photo with James Quille, Chairman of Macquarie Global Property Advisors (centre right).

“The Thai real estate industry over the next five to 10 years is in a very good place,” he said.  “Thailand has a balanced economy with good demographics which is good for investment flows including real estate, and like most of Asia has the potential to enter a sweet spot in terms of its ability to attract investment by institutional capital.

“There is a growing trend towards institutional investors allocating a higher proportion of their portfolio into real estate funds, which will certainly benefit the market with the emergence of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) in Thailand.”

Mr. Quille however cautioned against excessive capital controls adding, “if you put up barriers restricting capital’s access to the market, you risk losing that capital to markets that are more open, offering more returns and less risk”.

MGPA recently announced it had agreed a sale of the company to BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with US$3.9 trillion AUM.  The merger of BlackRock Real Estate Group and MGPA will result in the creation of a global real estate powerhouse, which has pro forma AUM of approximately US$25 billion as of March 31 this year.

The evening dinner in Bangkok was the first of regular round-table industry dinners planned by Kingdom Property, which will feature speakers recognized for their extensive knowledge in the real estate industry and cover topics such as global financing, asset management, property development and marketing.

Kingdom Property Chief Executive Officer Nigel Cornick said Mr. Quille’s experience and vision in the funding of prominent real estate developments in Asia and Thailand, made him the ideal choice to begin the series.

“It was a pleasure to have Jim join us and we are very grateful for his time.  His experience in this region is second to none and I am sure those in attendance received some great insights from him,” he said.  “His views and expertise have certainly set the bar high for the round-table events and we will look forward to announcing the next speaker shortly.”

Kingdom Property is a leading property developer in Thailand, focusing on the Eastern Seaboard, where its project, Southpoint Pattaya, is scheduled for completion in 2015.  Over 60% of the twin-tower project has been sold, including the second tower to a single buyer who will offer it as internationally-managed serviced residences.  87 units in the main tower were recently sold to Hong Kong-based Purple Link Investment Company.