The head of investment at Zerin Properties, Francis Quah, has been named “Outstanding Individual for Real Estate Transaction” for 2008 in RFP Magazine’s Outstanding Individuals in Industry Awards 2009.
Quah was selected for the award for concluding the sale of The InterContinental Hanoi hotel in Vietnam at the peak of the subprime crisis.
Zerin Properties’ founder and CEO Previndran Singhe was the first recipient of the “Outstanding Individual for Real Estate Investment” award for 2007, when the inaugural ceremony was held in Hong Kong.
The InterContinental Hanoi deal, which amounted to US$75 million for a 75% stake, took Quah and his team about a year to close. The hotel was an abandoned project, which was revived and completed early last year. The challenge, says Quah, was selling a “complete” project while it was still under construction. The buyer of the 75% stake was Berjaya Group, with the remaining 25% interest being held by the local government in Hanoi. Facilities at the property, previously owned by TPC Development Ltd, include two restaurants, a sunset bar, over 1,000 sq m of meeting space, a gymnasium and spa treatment facilities.
Hong Kong-based RFP (which stands for real estate, facilities and projects) Magazine was created in May 2004 to provide quality and independent information on corporate real estate, facilities and project managers in Asia. It claims to have over 40,000 readers.
Quah, who is the only Malaysian recipient this year, says he is especially proud since Zerin Properties is a relatively young real estate and consultancy agency of seven years. “As a Malaysian company shortlisted alongside the ‘big boys’, it is definitely a proud achievement for us,” Previndran adds. The three other nominees in the category were Prathibha Aradhya, managing director of India’s Aradhya & Aradhya; Ben Dickinson, national director of JLL Hong Kong; and Lim Lay See, executive director of CB Richard Ellis Singapore.
Zerin Properties was established in early 2002 with an international presence in Singapore, New Delhi and Australia. It has four main businesses — corporate hotels, corporate non-hotels (offices), expatriate leasing and residential.
There were 13 winners from Asia-Pacific in 12 categories, three of which are new award categories. The winners were selected by a panel of senior industry experts, including Ben Butt, director of Goldcrest Asia & RFP Magazine; John Gilleard, partner at Sloan Partnership; Gulu Lavlani, founder and chairman of Binatone Telecom Group and developer of Royal Phuket Marina; and Dominic Whiting, Asia real estate correspondent for ThompsonReuters.
Factors that were considered included the nominees’ individual and team contribution, significance of their projects, sustainability, effectiveness, project size, innovation, difficulties overcome and budget control.
The awards ceremony will take place on May 14 in Hong Kong.
Previndran is one of the speakers for The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2009, which will be held from 9am to 1pm at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, on April 4. The forum is exclusively for readers of The Edge.
This article appeared in City & Country, property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 749, April 6-12, 2009
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