Our Values

We believe that a firm is defined by its people - their experience, their creativity, and above all their values.  Integrity and dedication are at the heart of our team.

Everything we do is guided by our mission to help our clients achieve their investment goals.  By establishing long-term relationships with our investment partners, we gain an extensive understanding of their requirements, and we seek to become a trusted advisor for the long term.

Our History

The Mandalay team co-founded Fairlead Group Holdings, which rapidly grew into a leading real estate investment manager specializing in value-add office assets in the Southeastern US. In 2016 Fairlead's two operating subsidiaries, Fairlead Capital Partners and Fairlead Commercial Real Estate, were acquired by Bridge Investment Group Partners, a leading US private equity real estate investment manager. 

The Mandalay Principals continue to be Principals of Fairlead Group Holdings, which manages the Mandalay-FCRE Sponsor Venture I and Mandalay-FCRE Sponsor Venture II funds.

The principals established Mandalay Real Estate Partners with a strategy of taking advantage of a broader range of opportunities across asset types and geographies, in partnership with both domestic and international institutional investors.

The Principals

The Mandalay executive team brings over 60 years of combined experience across real estate, private equity, funds management, capital markets, and law.  Having held senior executive roles at leading firms in the US and internationally, the Mandalay executives have been involved in the investment, management, development, and leasing of over 10 mm sf of commercial property with total value in excess of US$1 billion.

JJ Conners


Mr. Conners is responsible for sourcing and executing acquisitions, as well as overseeing the leasing and asset management of properties in the Mandalay portfolio.  As the founder of Chestnut Hill Investments, a real estate development firm, JJ also brings extensive experience in the entire real estate development life cycle and project management.  Previously, JJ was a Vice President for Flagler Development Company, where he managed all development, leasing, acquisition and disposition activities in north Florida, including 3 million square feet of office and industrial buildings and over 1,000 acres of undeveloped land.  Before joining Flagler, Mr. Conners worked for AEW Capital Management in Boston, sourcing, underwriting and managing new office, apartment and condominium developments in London, Toronto, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Mr. Conners received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Boston College in 1992 and master’s degree in Economics from Boston College in 1994. He is based in the firm's Jacksonville office.

Benjamin Kao


Mr. Kao provides is responsible for executing acquisitions as well as strategic and management oversight throughout the investment life cycle. Based in the Hong Kong office, Mr. Kao is also responsible for Mandalay’s relationships with its international investment partners.  Previously, Mr. Kao was the founder and Managing Director of MacauLand Developments, a Hong Kong-based real estate development and investment firm which executed investments across a wide range of strategies across Asia in partnership with institutional investors such as Citi Property Investors and Angelo, Gordon & Co.

Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Mr. Kao worked in New York at Elliott Associates, a hedge fund, and at Goldman Sachs in its Fixed Income Research Department.  Mr. Kao graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences.

Philip Gregory


Philip Gregory is responsible for Mandalay’s relationships with Australian and Asian capital partners as well as the firm’s capital markets activities.  Based in Hong Kong, Mr. Gregory has over 20 years of experience in the areas of corporate finance, equity capital markets and M&A in Asia and other markets. He has executed a over $10 billion in transactions across the real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, telecommunications, manufacturing and consumer sectors.  Previously, Mr. Gregory served as Head of Investment Banking, Asia Pacific at Renaissance Capital, a leading emerging markets investment bank.  Other prior roles were Executive Director of Investment Banking at UBS A.G. in Hong Kong, and as Director of Investment Banking and Head of China Execution at CLSA in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Mr. Gregory began his career as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringers and Richards Butler in Hong Kong and London.

A fluent Mandarin speaker, Mr. Gregory has lived in Hong Kong and mainland China since the late 1990's. He graduated from Melbourne University with Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Major) and Bachelor of Laws degrees and obtained a post-graduate Diploma of Chinese Studies from the Hopkins–Nanjing Centre for Chinese and American Studies at Nanjing University, China.