ADIA to hire Starwood asset management head McCarthy

John McCarthy, Starwood Capital Group’s global head of asset management, who held a similar role for the real estate division of collapsed Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers, is expected to join ADIA’s Real Estate Department next month.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the preeminent sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates, is set to appoint John McCarthy as a senior portfolio manager for its real estate activities in Europe.

PERE understands that industry veteran McCarthy is expected to join the state fund next month as it bolsters its capabilities in the region. He will supplement the efforts of ADIA’s Real Estate Department’s Europe head Pascal Duhamel who joined in February.

McCarthy has held some of the most senior roles in global real estate asset management. He joins from Starwood Capital Group, which he joined in March 2009 as global head of asset management taking over from Jeffrey Dishner who then switched to Starwood’s acquisitions team. Based in its Greenwich, Connecticut headquarters, McCarthy reported directly to Starwood boss Barry Sternlicht.

In an announcement on McCarthy’s previous hire by Starwood, Sternlicht described him as having “global expertise and management skills” that were “indispensible in protecting and enhancing the value of our assets”.

McCarthy joined Starwood from Lehman Brothers where he was global co-head of asset management with particular responsibilities for the failed Wall Street bank’s activities in Europe, the UK and India. He also worked for O’Connor Capital Partners as co-head of its European business and head of its European asset management function and at GE Real Estate.

ADIA has been slowly building out its Real Estate Department since appointing former JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs senior executive Bill Schwab as its global head of real estate in 2009. Since then the sovereign wealth fund has grown the platform to more than 90 people.

While ADIA has never published the exact valuation of its real estate portfolio it has set an allocation target for the sector of between 5 percent and 10 percent of its total assets.