Lehman seeks Korean property exposure

Jonathan Dubois-Phillips has been appointed country manager for LehmanÆs Korea real estate group.
Lehman Brothers has appointed Jonathan Dubois-Phillips as its Korean country manager for its real estate group. He joined Lehman in 2000 and has been involved in developing relationships for the real estate group in Hong Kong and Bangkok.

Going forward, he will be based in Seoul and will report directly to Mark Gabbay and Tom Pearson, co-heads of the firmÆs global real-estate group for Asia.

Lehman says it is active in all areas of real estate in Korea, including senior lending, mezzanine lending, non-performing loan acquisition and equity investment and utilises its own balance sheet to provide new loans and acquire non-performing loans.

ôOur current loan portfolio includes construction loans, retail and residential. We see strengths in all these sectors as well as the office sector,ö says Dubois-Phillips. ôWe plan to grow our portfolio of high-ratio non-recourse loans in both construction and term financing across all sectors on an opportunistic basis.ö

Lehman also plans a securitisation programme for the commercial loans it originates.

The Korean property business accesses both Lehman BrothersÆ private equity funds and its own proprietary balance sheet for equity investments.

öWe are not constrained by deal size and can consider a transaction that is as low as $5 million,ö says Dubois-Phillips. ôThe typical transaction size will range from $20 million to $100 million. We typically do not disclose the total size of our loan or equity positions, but going forward, we plan to significantly increase our exposure to the Korean real estate market.ö
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