Ask Me Anything Series

January 2020

Ask Me Anything
with Neill O'Brien, Guggenheim Alvarium

Aurex Group continued its ‘Ask Me Anything’ series with an exclusive sit-down with Neill O’Brien, Managing Director of Guggenheim Alvarium in Hong Kong, to gain insight into the world of Real Estate Investment.

A little about Neill O'Brien:

Neill has spent the last decade working in Real Estate across Asia. Commencing his career in Shanghai with Knight Frank before moving to Jones Lang LaSalle, Neill acquired expertise in real estate strategy, leasing, acquisitions and disposals, debt and equity, capital raising, and joint ventures across Asia Pacific. Now, as Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Hong Kong at Guggenheim Alvarium, he focuses on the expansion of the company’s independent Co-Investment platform across the region.

“Each “Our team was incredibly fortunate to spend the session with Neill and learn first-hand about his career trajectory. He is a young business leader at the helm of a successful global boutique in a market where differentiation is the key to success. To understand the choices he has made throughout his professional journey is not only insightful but Inspiring, ” said Ben Watt, Managing Director, Greater China at Aurex Group.

As part of the discussion, Neill took the Aurex Group team through the multi-faceted realm of Real Estate Investment sharing his views from time spent as an agent, advisor and investor. He explained the major capital movements happening in the market, how this is influencing investment strategies across the Real Estate asset classes and where he believes the market will move next.

Top three takeaways:

  1. The debt side of real estate investment is becoming an increasingly attractive strategy as equity returns compress and debt returns offer defined terms, increased security and typically run on shorter time cycles. This is changing the way investors approach their portfolios and the opportunities we present as professional advisors.

  2. Real estate investment is a wealth creation tool. Looking to value-add strategies like adaptive reuse or conversions presents exciting possibilities. This has been a popular approach within European and western markets and is creating increasing opportunities for investors in Asia.

  3. Keep learning as you build your career. Explore opportunities to expand your skillset which in turn will add value to what you bring to future employers, clients and partnerships. Treat each role you undertake as a new chance to add to your experience and learn as much as you can in the process.

The final word:

Neill’s advice for young professionals: “Building relationships internally is just as important as building your external network. Throughout my career I have realised the old saying ‘it is not what you know but who you know’ has held. Be proactive in making connections and building relationships within the organisations you work, you never know when they may open the next door for you.”

For more information on the Ask Me Anything series, please contact Ben Watt, Managing Director, Greater China, Aurex Group.



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