Asia, 10 December 2015 – Leading global commercial real estate services firm, Colliers International Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CIGI; TSX: CIG), announced further business expansion in the Asia region, with the addition of three senior retail development, asset management and leasing executives. Mr Simon Baxter will head the new business division, working together with Mr Alex Jaques and Mr Sebastian Skiff.
“The new retail development and asset management team will work with retailers, developers, owners and managers – creating and implementing strategies to maximise asset value. Covering Asia from their bases in Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively, Simon, Alex and Sebastian are jointly developing a specialist team underpinned by their more than 65 years of combined experience in retail development, asset management and leasing,” says Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific, Mr David Hand. "This pro-active process of advising and also delivering the implementation for our clients is part of our ongoing differentiation strategy of ensuring real and tangible business value.”
Mr Simon Baxter, who heads the new Retail Development and Asset Management team, joins Colliers from EC Harris, where he spent eight years as regional director of Asia Pacific, six years as managing director, China, and two years as managing director in Singapore. During this time, he led EC Harris in China from a single location consultancy business to a team of 500 professionals, delivering results for clients from seven market sectors across 40 cities. He then moved on to oversee the development of the business across South and Southeast Asia. Mr Baxter had spent his entire career with the company, joining in England in 1994, and progressing to leadership of European investment and development, where he established consistent delivery capability across the entire region.
"I’m delighted to be part of Colliers, and to have this opportunity to start and lead this unique service capability," said Mr Baxter. “I know from experience that this region is ripe with opportunities for rapid business growth, and look forward to overseeing a strong and growing team."
Mr Alex Jaques will support Mr Baxter and similarly joins Colliers from EC Harris. He began his career in 1995 as a shopping centre manager in Australia. His career led to England with GVA Grimley, followed by five years managing a boutique European asset management company. Jaques was most recently equity partner and head of business advisory with EC Harris in China. He spent three years as head of the pan Asian business unit, providing advisory services to international and local Chinese clients.
"I thrive in the challenging Asian markets, where there is fierce competition yet opportunities for achieving strong growth," said Mr Jaques. "I’m looking forward to growing the business and delivering outstanding services to clients across Asia.”
Mr Sebastian Skiff, who joined as director, Retail Development and Asset Management, will spearhead the strategic marketing and leasing component of the business. Mr Skiff is a veteran of the retail real estate market in Asia, with almost three decades of experience managing retail real estate projects, particularly shopping malls in Asia throughout all stages of conception, development and implementation.
Mr Hand adds, “Sebastian’s appointment reflects the significant opportunity we see in the Asia retail scene, especially around the pockets of future growth in new markets and new retailers seeking expansion or greater penetration into Asia. He will work in tandem with Simon and Alex to expand our client base and accelerate the growth of this business, as we continue to strengthen our presence.”
Mr Skiff joins from another global real estate services company, where he managed their retail real estate business in Asia overseeing a staff headcount of 200. Prior to that, he managed the USD50 million acquisition of Ralph Lauren’s Korean business from a long-time licensee which encompasses 183 retail leases, office and distribution centre facilities.
“I’m excited to be part of a great company like Colliers. It’s an honour to play a significant role in this comprehensive retail service, which not only helps owners and retailers conceptualise appropriate plans for their business growth across Asia, but also be uniquely capable of helping them deliver those plans. This business model is a huge differentiator for Colliers in this space and I’m sure we will achieve great success,” says Mr Skiff.