* Blackstone focused on real estate investing across Asia
* Former HK financial secretary Leung to take role at HK
firm in Feb
* Leung to stay as Blackstone adviser
By Stephen Aldred and Denny Thomas
HONG KONG, Nov 19 Blackstone Group's
Antony Leung is leaving his role as Greater China Chairman to
lead a Hong Kong-based property conglomerate, the private equity
firm said on Tuesday.
Blackstone is the second global buyout firm in a week to
announce a senior leadership change in Asia, after TPG Capital
brought senior partner Tim Dattels back from the United
States to co-lead the region.
The moves come as private equity firms seek to spend their
cash piles in Asia, at a time when competition among other
competitors such as KKR & Co LP and entrenched Asia
buyout groups remains intense.
Leung, Hong Kong's former financial secretary, will become
the group chief executive officer for Hong Kong-based property
conglomerate, the Nan Fung Group, starting in February. He will
also retain an advisory role at Blackstone.
Leung, who was also the ex-Asia chairman for JPMorgan
, was hired by Blackstone in 2007 to help it build out
its fledgling Asia business.
The departure follows Andrew Quo, a former senior managing
director and vice chairman for Greater China at Blackstone, who
recently moved to a senior adviser role at the firm.
Blackstone, the world's biggest private equity real estate
firm with $69 billion in assets under management, is strongly
focused on real estate investments in Asia. It invests in Asia
from a $13.3 billion global real estate fund, and a debut $4
billion real estate fund for Asia.
Blackstone was one of the last of the big buyout firms to
set up shop in Hong Kong, choosing Mumbai as its first Asia
office in 2005.
Leung joined Blackstone senior managing director Ben Jenkins
as co-head of the firm's Hong Kong office in 2007.
In December 2010, Blackstone named Michael Chae, a senior
managing director in its New York office, as the head of private
equity in Asia. Jenkins left Hong Kong to return to the United
States with Blackstone the following year.