Barings has appointed John Ratcliffe to the newly created head of Asia Pacific real estate role, as the asset management arm of US insurer MassMutual continues its global expansion.

Barings, which is already deep-rooted in the US and Europe, said Ratcliffe’s appointment will help develop the business’ pan-Asian and Australian real estate platform covering both equity and debt.

Ratcliffe will primarily be responsible for sourcing investment opportunities in the region, with an ”initial focus on Australia and Japan before exploring opportunities in China and other geographies”, as well as assisting with capital raising from both existing and new sources.

He joins Barings from Challenger Real Estate, where he spent 12 years as executive director of transactions and capital raising. He also previously worked in asset management at Australian high-end residential and mixed-use developer, Niecon Developments.

Ratcliffe said: “Barings is a highly reputable global firm with strong ambitions to grow its real estate business in the Asia Pacific region, building on the successful and well-established platforms it has in the US and Europe.

”I look forward to hitting the ground running in sourcing new investment opportunities, focusing first on Australia and Japan and then more broadly across other Asian territories. At the same time, I will work with Charles and the excellent teams in Sydney and across Asia Pacific to help source capital and expand Barings’ real estate footprint in the region.”

Charles Weeks, head of Barings Europe and Asia Pacific real estate equity, said: “Our real estate activities in Asia have traditionally focused on working with our clients to deploy capital into the US and Europe.”

By having Ratcliffe, Barings is now building the capability to invest locally, he said.

“Initially, his focus will be on Australia to deploy debt and equity into one of the world’s most transparent, liquid and open markets, as well as Japan, another highly sophisticated and professional real estate market.”

Duncan Robertson, Barings head of Asia Pacific and head of global business development group, said Ratcliffe’s 20-year experience in the real estate industry makes him an ideal person to help Barings serve its clients and build on the company’s presence in the Asia Pacific region across other asset classes.

“This strategic hire is further evidence of Barings commitment to attracting the very best global talent the real estate sector has to offer.”

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