News release

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group launches South Korea business

JLL becomes the first international advisor to offer a dedicated hospitality real estate practice in South Korea

August 18, 2021

SINGAPORE, 18 August 2021 – JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group today announced the launch of its dedicated South Korea advisory and investment services office in Seoul. By establishing an on-the-ground presence, JLL becomes the first international advisor to offer a dedicated hospitality real estate practice in South Korea, which currently stands as one of Asia Pacific’s most active hospitality markets.

Min Joon (MJ) Kim, Vice President, has been appointed to lead the South Korea Hotels & Hospitality practice, delivering Advisory, Asset Management, and Investment Sales services for hospitality sector. He will also assist in directing Korean outbound capital as Korean institutional capital becomes increasingly important globally.

Most recently, MJ was a Manager at Ernst & Young’s Real Estate Strategy and Transactions team in Los Angeles, where he led real estate valuation, due diligence, and advisory projects, with a specialization in hospitality and entertainment assets. MJ holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. He will report to Xander Nijnens, Managing Director, Head of Advisory & Asset Management, Asia Pacific, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, and Corey Hamabata, Senior Vice President, Investment Sales, Asia Pacific, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group.

“South Korea has witnessed a rapid rise in hotel development in recent years, initially centered around Seoul but now expanding outwards to other destinations. The evolution of the market and a spike in development has resulted in a broadening of the hotel investor base domestically and has also attracted a number of international investors to the market. The specialized hospitality advisory and brokerage services will complement the wide range of real estate services offer by JLL in Korea across all asset classes,” says Nijnens.

According to JLL, the decision to establish a dedicated presence was driven by heightened activity in the South Korea market and interest from domestic and international investors. South Korea is ranked fourth in terms of hotel transaction volume in Asia Pacific with US$1.4 billion transacted in 2019 and US$770 million in 2020. JLL analysis also shows that investment volumes in South Korea reached US$849 million in 1H 2021, a year-on-year increase of over 55%.

In establishing a local presence, JLL will look to advise clients deploying capital into hotel development projects and help facilitate increasing investment into the hotel sector through advising on all stages of the capital cycle, from acquisition to optimization and disposition.

With the expansion of domestic and international investors in the market, demand for sector-specific advisory and brokerage services is increasing due to the specialized nature of hospitality investments.

“Expanding our services with a dedicated presence in the increasingly important Korean market is a logical step for us. As Korean capital has evolved into an influential global capital source, we felt MJ’s extensive international experience and global perspective aligns well with the needs of Korean investors, allowing him not only to provide insight into the local market but also perspective on broader dynamics in the hospitality space,” says Hamabata.

In South Korea, Covid-19 and government legislation have affected many aspects of real estate, JLL expects the trend towards institutionalization of hospitality investment in the country to accelerate, creating numerous opportunities for investment into the sector with themes including consolidation, international brand proliferation, recovering international visitation and growing domestic tourism.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion in 2020, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 92,000 as of June 30, 2021. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit