Valuing Colliers’ enterprising spirit and pool of advice allow Jacky to offer unique ideas.
Capital Markets and Investment Services Senior Director Jacky Cheung takes advantage of any opportunity his hectic lifestyle allows. Whether maximising his family time or participating in some music therapy, Jacky strives for harmony at home and work.
Q: What’s your role at Colliers?
A: My main job is to handle acquisitions, sales and marketing related to sizeable assets in Hong Kong. I have decades of experience in real estate, working with agencies, government, banks and surveyor firms, and these days I focus mainly on local investors and institutional funds.
Q: You must have dealt with some challenging cases. Can you share some of your experience without giving away client names?
A: Yes, although most deals are never as easy as they sound. But I have had a couple of more challenging cases.
A few years back, the team and I had lined up an excellent opportunity which involved transacting a retail podium. It made sense for the buyer to acquire the vendor’s company – which held the asset – to save on stamp duty, and it seemed that both parties liked the idea. But, as the agreement inched ahead and the buyer began their due diligence, they uncovered something which stopped the acquisition.
"We went back to the table and managed to get the vendor to absorb half of the tax, making the terms more acceptable for the buyer"
When it looked like all was lost, I suggested they should buy the asset outright, but that massive increase in stamp duty became a sticking point. When buying a company in Hong Kong, the tax is only 0.2% of the transaction’s value, but it rises to 4.25% on asset sales. The buyer could not absorb that kind of cost increase.
We returned to the table and managed to get the vendor to absorb half of the tax, making the terms more acceptable for the buyer. Deal complete!
And in another case, the team and I were in the process of selling an en bloc industrial building to a property fund, which their analyst thought would be a perfect fit. The investor wanted the building for a refurbishment project. But their inspector nixed it, saying they could not do it without a developer as a partner. If only it had been that easy.
Although I don’t usually deal with developers, I found some contacts and began phoning them. All were very impressed by the client’s name, and two were keen on a partnership deal. Once the client had decided which developer they wanted to go with, I set it up a JV, and everyone was happy.
Q: What do you like most about working at Colliers?
A: If I had to sum it up in a word, it would be “enterprising”. At Colliers, we can work independently and with an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed. On the other hand, teammates or other colleagues are always around to collaborate when I need additional points of view. I like to gather many different opinions when I am trying to solve a problem, but at the same time, I like coming up with bespoke solutions. It’s a good balance.
"I like to gather many different opinions when I am trying to solve a problem"
I have always believed in the power of teamwork. Communications and information sharing are the key to success in the investment services industry. And in the same vein, I find the Colliers’ value that resonates with me the most is “Collaborate to drive exceptional results”. It helps the client immensely as I know that if they want something outside my team’s remit, I can refer them to others in the company who can easily pick up the case.
Q: How have you been coping with COVID-19
A: Thankfully, this wave seems to have passed. But when things were more intense, we had to take up the slack, do more onsite visits, and take more photos or videos for the client instead of them being able to inspect their potential purchase physically. Let me just say that I have become extremely familiar with “Teams” for all of those online meetings. At least we can still see our client’s faces.
For leisure, I played many mahjong games and did a bit of home cooking, and before you ask, I do steamed fish, a fried egg – the basics.
Q: Now that it’s possibly, definitely, probably almost over, how do you plan to celebrate our new freedoms?
A: Do more outdoor things, like cycling and hiking, and be social. We have our department Think Tank Thursday coming up this month, so a good chance for some food and drink and to get to know our colleagues that little bit better.
Q: Do you have secret pleasure?
A: Spending time with my children, getting to talk to them. In our hectic lives, we barely have time for each other. But each morning, I drive my wife and kids to work and school. Those 45 minutes, when the whole family is together, talking to each other, is pure magic.
Q: How did you get into playing the piano?
A: You might think my parents insisted, but that’s not the case. It almost didn’t happen at all. So, the first time I ever heard Richard Clayderman’s music was at my primary graduation ceremony, when the pianist played Mariage d’Amour. It was just pure music, and I thought, I want to do this. At that time, though, it wasn’t meant to be.
I only started taking piano lessons in senior school when a classmate told me he couldn’t spend time with me because he had to attend his music lesson. I asked if I could tag along and became more passionate than ever about learning to play. Next thing I knew, my parents had signed me up for classes.
My next dream was owning a piano, which I fulfilled last year. Playing the piano is a beautiful way to relax after work. I thoroughly enjoy sentimental songs like “As Wished” and “Listen to the Sea”. I can definitely feel the emotion.
And on that note, talk to a Colliers expert about your property needs.
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