Alistair Elliott, group chairman of Knight Frank said the firm plans to develop a global platform to offer investment advise to global clients. Photo: Nora Tam

Knight Frank’s Asia expansion plan unscathed by Brexit

Property firm plans huge expansion in Hong Kong, Singapore and the mainland

London based Knight Frank says its expansion plan in Asia would not be affected by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and other short term market turbulences, a top company official said.

Alistair Elliott, senior partner and group chairman of Knight Frank said the group’s strategy would be to develop a global platform to offer investment advise to its global clients.

“Political and economical uncertainties keep coming into the market,” he said, “but {we’ll} remain the same and seek to be an established real estate advisor for commercial and residential property.”

Elliott, who was in Hong Kong last week at the end of a week-long Asian tour, said the group would look to further expand its presence in Asia as part of a five-year plan that will run out early next year.

The expansion in Asia will focus on Singapore, Hong Kong and the mainland where the group made some significant recruitment of senior executives last year, said Elliott who also visited Singapore and Shanghai.

“Without any doubt, we will have more people in these locations. With plans to increase the group’s turnover and profit as well, I will be disappointed if we don’t grow our headcount at a rate of at least 5 per cent annually,” he said

At present, the group employs 14,000 people in 58 countries and operates from 400 offices.

The group aims to lift turnover from Asia – currently about one-third of the total turnover – significantly over the next five years, said Elliott who will spend the next six months on the company’s five-year plan.

Globally, about one-third of the group’s turnover comes from residential property, with the balance from commercial deals.

In Britain – the group’s single largest market - 60 per cent of its turnover comes from residential and 40 per cent from commercial market, he said.

Australia is the group’s second largest contributor in terms of turnover by country followed by India, Hong Kong and Singapore .

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