Singapore is where Colliers establishes its center of excellence

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Colliers have made series of appointments to its management bench that is based in Singapore during the last six months. On the 10th of January the real estate services and investment management firm made an announcement about the selection of Bastiaan van Beijsterveldt to be the managing director of Singapore.

Van Beijsterveldt was promoted from his previous post in the executive director position and the head of occupier services at the city-state. Van Beijsterveldt replaces Tang Wei Leng, who was appointed to the Singapore managing director post in the year 2015. Tang is currently Colliers managing director and is also the head of investment and capital markets Services for Singapore.

in February Mike Davis, a former managing director at CBRE within the US has joined Colliers as the managing director for occupiers services in Asia Pacific. In November of last year, Colliers announced the appointment of Chris Pilgrim as managing director of global capital markets for Asia Pacific, moving from his previous post in London as Colliers the global capital markets director. Davis and Pilgrim have been located in Colliers’ Singapore office in Marina Bay.

The new appointments signal Colliers its commitment to the city state, according Sam Harvey-Jones who is the COO for Asia Pacific. “This is a very significant and influential region of the world. Singapore is now a hub for the decision-makers of capital and other sectors throughout Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific (Apac) region.” Van Beijsterveldt agrees with Van Beijsterveldt, stating that Colliers believes that it’s Singapore office as an “centre that is an epicenter of quality” with a focus on promoting growth, not just in Singapore but across the region, as part of Colliers’ overall strategy.

Doubling profits
In the latter half of 2021 In the second quarter of 2021, the Nasdaq as well as Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company announced its Enterprise ’25 growth strategy outlining its five-year goals. In 2025, Colliers intends to more than double its profit up to an adjusted operating profit of $830 millions ($1.1 billion) which will include at minimum 65% of its earnings being derived from recurring revenue.

The plan is being implemented by several key pillars which include expanding the company’s footprint in strategic purchases. In 2017 Colliers made an unprecedented amount of US$1 billion in acquisitions to help strengthen its businesses. Most of the money was used to expand the investment management portfolio through Colliers purchasing major stakes in the infrastructure fund Basalt as well as the investment company Rockwood Capital, and alternative investment manager Versus Capital. By the end of 2022 Colliers is home to around 98 billion dollars worth of under-management assets.

It also increased its recurring and long-duration income streams, and bolstered its engineering and design as well as project management divisions by acquiring companies from The UK, Australia and the US. While doing so it was able to strengthen its leasing and capital markets business by establishing it in Norway by purchasing Nordic real property consultancy firm Pangea.

The plan appears to keep Colliers well on course to achieve their Enterprise ’25 targets. The company announced an adjusted ebitda in the amount of $630.5 million for the fiscal year that ended on December 31 2022. “I am delighted to report that we are well ahead of our goals and our revenue streams that are recurring now making up the majority of 58% of our adjusted pro forma EBITDA,” states Colliers global chairman and CEO Jay Hennick in his annual letter to shareholders of March 16.

Building scale in Singapore
For Van Beijsterveldt it’s been a hectic beginning in his new position. In the Colliers Singapore office has hosted numerous events both internal and external in the last few months, including town-hall sessions that were attended by John Kenny, Colliers’ Sydney-based CEO for Asia Pacific, and other top executives of Asia Pacific, the Apac as well as Emea (Europe and Europe, Middle East and Africa) regions. There were also media and customer interactions that merged with major industry events, such as The CoreNet Global Summit for Apac and the Pere Asia Summit, both of which took place in Singapore.

Van Beijsterveldt, originally from the Netherlands has created a career in the real estate industry throughout the Apac region over the past 14 years. In charge of mainly occupier-related services like the representation of tenant tenants in portfolios, reviews, and divestment analysis, he’s been working in Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Seoul prior to returning in Singapore in order to be a part of Colliers as director of services for occupiers in the year 2019. In 2021 his promotion was to the position of head of the team.

Presently, Van Beijsterveldt says he is “very active” in this segment of the company, and Colliers is not yet named a new Singapore director of occupiers services. With his new position as the managing director, he is now supervises the office’s other service areas, including capital markets and investment, valuation and advisory industrial, as the leisure and hospitality.

A press release to announce the new position, Colliers states Van Beijsterveldt will play a major part in guiding Colliers’ strategy of growth in order to grow and expand in Singapore. This could include a rise in headcountsomething Van Beijsterveldt says has already been a priority for the company. “Over the past three years, we’ve more than doubled the size of our occupier services team and we’re now aiming to expand this in other departments,” he says.

The idea to boost the number of employees is despite an uncertain economic climate that raises doubts for Colliers principal operations in Singapore which include capital markets and occupier services. “This year could be a challenging one,” Harvey-Jones concedes. But the decision to expand is an investment for the future. “We’re expanding in a commercially feasible, sustainable manner,” he adds.

One group, one company
There are currently 120 employees working from Colliers’ Singapore office. The staff is comprised of those who work in the Singapore market and those who have an extensive remit in all of the Apac region.

Whatever their role Harvey-Jones emphasizes his point that his Singapore office is united under one umbrella. “We would like to ensure people who serve regional or local markets aren’t feeling like they’re working in different parts of the company,” he says. In this regard it is the case that all Colliers staff in Singapore are unified under a single, senior leadership team, with each accountable for developing and expanding the company as a whole. “Ultimately we function as one unit,” Harvey-Jones says.

Van Beijsterveldt states that collaboration is one of the main priorities at Colliers and staff members work with each other across service lines to meet the needs of clients. Within the office, workers from different markets work together, allowing for more synergies to occur. “That will also result in more efficient service for our customers,” he continues.

Insisting on people
The letter addressed to shareholders the global CEO and chairman Hennick insists on his importance to Colliers’s talent pool. “Our success is due to our most valuable assets: our 18,000 employees around the globe who deliver outstanding results for our clients everywhere they are.” He also states: “We foster an inclusive environment that promotes equal opportunities within Colliers to ensure that all of employees feel valued and are able to pursue successful careers.”

So when it increases its staff to Singapore, Colliers aims to also offer opportunities to its employees. “We’re not only looking to double our headcount through recruiting from outside the company We want to ensure that every person here has the chance to develop,” says Harvey-Jones, and citing Van Beijsterveldt’s advancement as an example of a number of promotions within the firm. “That’s something we’ve put in the forefront of our business.”

Colliers has also been pushing for a more diverse workforce with a greater proportions of women. In the world, Colliers is targeting to attain 40% female employees across the board and also in management positions by 2025. In December of last year, it was named an international one of the “top female-friendly firms” in Forbes.

In Singapore Van Beijsterveldt, the Singaporean embassy director, estimates that 50% of office workers are female. “We’ve put in a lot of effort to create a more balanced workforce. It’s crucial to the long-term success of our company as well as an accurate representation of the standard and quality of our employees in this market.” The primary goal is to find and keep top talent which Van Beijsterveldt believes will allow Colliers provide better service to clients and increase its standing as an industry top player in Singapore and across the region. Harvey-Jones agrees. “We’re very customer-centric and we’re extremely people-centric. We strive to be the most effective in our job.”