Spa Business issue 2 2021

Page 48



We’ve established Capella in Southeast Asia but are now setting our sights on other continents Evan Kwee Vice-chair, Capella Hotel Group


believe in being in the thick of things,” says Evan Kwee, the third generation of a Singaporean family known for prudent, long-term, real-estate development. Serving on Capella’s board while holding the role of senior vice president of hotels at Pontiac Land Group – Capella’s parent company – Kwee has had a hand in development, design and operations since guiding Capella Singapore came into existence shortly after his graduation. For more than a decade, he’s overseen expansion of the brand in Asia: “We’ve established Capella in Southeast Asia but are now setting our sights on other continents.” Singapore’s four Kwee brothers, whose net worth puts them into Forbes’ top-50 wealthiest Asian families, control SG$12bn (US$9bn, €7.5bn, £6.5bn) worth of real estate. Back in 2006, the developer entered into a joint venture with Capella’s founder Horst Schulze before fully acquiring the brand in 2017. As the son of Pontiac Land’s chair Kwee Liong Tek, Evan Kwee is entrusted with making strategic equity investments. To support the launch of Patina, Pontiac Land has committed to the development of a three-island complex in the Maldives, which welcomes both Patina and Ritz-Carlton

Evan Kwee’s family owns Capella and is one of the wealthiest families in Asia

resorts this summer followed by Capella in 2023. As is the case with Capella Singapore and the forthcoming Sydney hotel, ownership positions are taken on occasions and a more traditional operator model on others. “The pride and effort we place into the opening and running of every property is equal, whether owned or managed,” notes Kwee. Under his leadership, Capella has become known for collaborating with star architects and designers including Bill Bensley, Norman Foster, André Fu, Jean-Michel Gathy and Kengo Kuma. He adds: “I collaborate with architects, engineers and clients to improve profitability through design excellence.”

Kwee has overseen the expansion of the brand in Asia for over a decade