Grant Kelley leaves Colony's Asia arm

The principal and chief executive of the private equity real estate's Asian operations has left the outfit, reportedly to start his own firm.

Grant Kelley, chief executive of Colony Capital’s Asia Pacific operations, has left the firm.

A representative from its Hong Kong office confirmed his departure to PERE. According to reports in Asia, Kelly is planning to start his own fund.

While he was with Colony, Kelley was based in Hong Kong and oversaw the firm’s strategic planning, acquisitions and asset management activities.

Among his deals was the 2005 acquisition of the hotel interests of Singapore’s Raffles Holdings’ company for around $1 billion.

In June, Colony was reportedly in talks to sell the landmark Raffles Hotel to a consortium of investors led by former Credit Suisse banker Mark Pawley. That deal fell through, but at an estimated $650 million, the sale would have made the Los Angeles-based firm a 3x profit. The hotel accounted for just $200 million of the total price paid for the entire hotel chain in 2005.

Established in 1991, Colony has fourteen offices in ten countries. In Asia, its offices are in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo. The firm focuses primarily on opportunistic investments in real estate-related assets and companies with a strategic dependence on such assets.