Kai-yan
Lee
Managing Director

Since 2013, Kai has led the strategic expansion of Vanke’s business in the United States and, under his leadership, the firm has undertaken a series of major real estate projects in New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Kai was also responsible for spearheading the formation of Brightstone Capital Partners, a SEC-registered commercial real estate investment management platform co-founded by Vanke US.

Previously, Kai served as Head of the Real Estate Industry Group at the World Economic Forum, responsible for its global real estate industry work and advocacy for safer real estate financial markets. Before that, he served at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston during the great financial crisis, with a focus on mortgage market stabilization and the housing market recovery. Prior to that, Kai held various development-related roles in California, including serving as a Redevelopment Commissioner and working on regional infrastructure projects.

Kai obtained his B.A. summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, and his graduate degrees from Harvard University and MIT. He regularly addresses professional and university real estate fora and is a board member of several national nonprofit organizations and industry/professional associations. Kai enjoys traveling, long-distance running, architecture, modern art, and hiking. 

Get to know Kai

What kind of thinker are you?
Visual and logical

What are you an expert at?
Almond croissants

What’s your favorite aspect of working at Vanke?
Great team and great potential

What’s your favorite building?
Small scale minimalist or brutalist structures

Words to live by?
“Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.”