07/04/2013

Gaw Capital’s US Associate, Downtown Properties, Teams Up with Ping An to Acquire Prestigious London Property


(4 July, 2013) – Gaw Capital Partners’ US real estate associate Downtown Properties announced today that they have successfully acquired the Lloyd’s building, one of the architectural masterpieces in central London, from Commerzbank's Commerz Real funds unit.This is the second property transaction in London led and managed by Downtown Properties since 2012, and the first overseas real estate acquisition by Ping An.

Prominently situated in the heart of the City of London,the Lloyd’s building is home to the insurer Lloyd’s of London.The building forms the centre of the insurance market in the City of London, with many of the world’s leading insurance companies – including Swiss Re., Aviva, Royal Sun Alliance, Willis Group, KL, Hiscox, ACE, Brit, etc. – located within the immediate vicinity. Designed by Lord Rogers of Riverside, the Lloyd’s building is nicknamed the “inside-out building” as its lifts are on the outside of the 289ft (88m) structure, and was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2007.

Being a well-established real estate investor in the Greater China area, Gaw Capital has also been highly active in international property investments in recent years, advising Asian institutional investors through its separate account services provided by Downtown Properties. Notable transactions include 333 Market Street in San Francisco in 2010, Three First National Plaza in Chicago in 2011, and Vintner’s Place in London in 2012. Downtown Properties acted as General Partner in this separate account arrangement for the Lloyd’s building, and took a leading role in due diligence in the acquisition process. Following this, Downtown Properties will assist with the on-going asset management of this prestigious property on behalf of the new owner.

Goodwin Gaw, Managing Principal and Chairman of Gaw Capital Partners and Downtown Properties, said, “London, Hong Kong and New York – the three key global gateway cities in the world – have high liquidity where international capital flows freely. The combination of attractive yields, trophy-quality assets, and attractive long-term debt, makes London a particularly compelling market for core real estate investments.”

Humbert Pang, Managing Principal and Head of China of Gaw Capital Partners, commented, “As an active player in the real estate market in China, we believe the key for successful overseas investment lies in asset management capabilities and relationship management in both local and overseas markets. Therefore Gaw Capital Partners is seeing more opportunities to assist Chinese Institutional Investors in going overseas.”