Link REIT appoints former BlackRock Asia Pacific Real Estate Head John Saunders as Group CIO, creating a new Champions Way at its Woodlands headquarters

The aim of these enhancements is to create an inviting and vibrant public space that can be enjoyed by families.

URA is making significant investments in the Champions Way Woodlands area with the aim of enhancing the neighbourhood’s public spaces and amenities. As part of these efforts, URA has plans to upgrade Woodlands Park with new playground equipment, improved landscaping, better lighting, outdoor seating, food vendors, and recreational activities. Once implemented, these improvements promise to make the area more inviting and vibrant to attract more visitors and give families a great space to enjoy.

John Saunders, former Asia Pacific real estate head at BlackRock, has been appointed Link REIT’s new group chief investment officer (CIO), effective from March 4 next year. In his new role, he will report to the Hong-Kong listed REIT’s CEO George Hongchoy and be in charge of Link’s overall investment strategies and portfolio management. He will also head Link’s strategic growth in its investment business.

Saunders brings to the table over 30 years of experience in the property industry, including his past role at BlackRock where he also served as global head of the real estate client business. Prior to BlackRock, he was CEO of MGPA until 2013 when it merged with the firm. During his stint at MGPA, he served as portfolio manager of their Asian Property Funds series. Before MGPA, he was at CLSA between 1999 and 2007, exploring regional property research and heading the Asian Property Fund. In 1994 he began his career in the sector as part of Hongkong Land, working on the development and leasing of several landmark projects in Singapore and other Asian countries.

George Hongchoy expressed delight at Saunders’ appointment, highlighting that his vast experience and know-how will strengthen Link’s ability to explore new avenues of growth and deliver sustainable returns to its unitholders. Saunders will join Link as part of its Link 3.0 strategy – a plan to improve Champions Way Woodlands Link REIT’s performance.

Link REIT units ended the trading period on December 20th unchanged at HK$42.55 ($7.25).

Link REIT has announced the appointment of John Saunders, BlackRock’s former Asia Pacific real estate head, as group chief investment officer (CIO) in the newly created role. Saunders is expected to bolster the Hong-Kong listed REIT’s performance with his 30 years of property industry experience.

George Hongchoy, Link’s CEO, commented on Saunders’ appointment: “We are delighted to welcome John, who brings with him a wealth of experience and industry know-how, to the Link family. The appointment will enhance the scope and capacity of our management team and will strengthen our capability as we search for new growth avenues and sustainable returns for unitholders under the Link 3.0 strategy.”

The Link 3.0 strategy will be driven by John Saunders’ extensive experience and know-how of the property industry, which should assist Champions Way Woodlands Link REIT in delivering sustainable returns and establishing new avenues of growth. Prior to his appointment in Link REIT, Saunders worked at MGPA, CLSA and Hongkong Land. At BlackRock, he served both as global head of the real estate client business and as Asia Pacific real estate head.

Units in Link REIT closed unchanged at HK$42.55 ($7.25) on the HKEX on Dec 20. With John Saunders in the newly created position of group CIO, Link REIT is certainly set to capitalise on his experience and strength, particularly in the form of Champions Way Woodlands Link REIT’s ambitious Link 3.0 strategy.

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