ULI Trustee and Founding Chairman of ULI Asia-Pacific, C. Y. Leung, has been selected as Hong Kong’s next chief executive. Hong Kong’s Election Committee voted for Leung to assume Hong Kong’s top leadership role on March 25; his five-year term will begin July 1.
Leung has been a key strategic advisor for ULI in the region, helping to establish the North and South Asia Councils as well as ULI’s regional office in Hong Kong.
In a letter to Leung following his selection, ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips said, “On behalf of the nearly 30,000 members of the Urban Land Institute, it is our pleasure to congratulate you on being elected the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. It is extremely exciting for one of ULI’s most distinguished leaders to take on this critical role in guiding Hong Kong’s prosperity for the 21st century.”
John Fitzgerald, executive director of ULI Asia-Pacific, said, “C.Y.’s support has been critical in establishing ULI in the region. His focus has always been Hong Kong’s competitiveness, but his vision is regional. We congratulate him on his selection to lead Hong Kong and look forward to supporting Hong Kong’s success.”
Among Leung’s most recent contributions to ULI was his authorship of the Asian outlook chapter of ULI’s What’s Next? report, which was released in 2011. In the piece, he pointed to demographic and economic shifts within China that are reshaping its growth patterns, and which would require a thoughtful approach to real estate design and development. Leung wrote:
“Within an industry characterized as ‘always local,’ China’s markets stand out as among the most localized in the world. Each city represents its own investment environment, many of them not necessarily tied to national policy or aggregate economic trends. Local laws, regulations, and implementation capacity play as large a role in shaping the urban investment and development climate as the directives issued by the central government provide an underlying framework.
“Niche or emerging market opportunities are driven by changing demographics and the enormous growth of the middle class. With China’s senior population soaring, resorts and senior housing are in great demand; and business park development —a land use typology that is just now beginning to mature—has been spurred by the surge in auto use.”
Born in Hong Kong in 1954, Leung began his career in 1977 in the Hong Kong office of Jones Lang Wootton. In 1993 he and several partners founded CY Leung & Co. Through a series of share exchanges culminating in 2006 between that company and London-listed real estate advisory firm DTZ Holdings plc, Leung became DTZ’s largest personal shareholder and its chairman, Asia Pacific. He is a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors.