Alnutt to lead Greystar’s UK real estate growth

The multifamily real estate giant’s hire of Mark Allnutt means it has recruited country heads in the UK, China and Australia this year, with a further hire expected in Japan.

Greystar Real Estate Partners has named Mark Allnutt as head of its UK operations with the initial remit of expanding its residential and student housing portfolios in the country.

The Charleston, South Carolina-based real estate company said Allnutt had been specifically tasked with increasing the firm’s UK multifamily assets to 10,000 units within four years and doubling its student housing portfolio to 9,000 units. Greystar’s aim, it said, was to position itself as one of the UK’s largest owners and operators of rental housing.

Allnutt has replaced predecessor Jeff Manno who is to return to Charleston to manage the firm’s debut core-plus vehicle, Greystar Growth and Income Fund – the platform was launched in March this year and was subsequently seeded with a portfolio of luxury apartments via Greystar’s $3 billion purchase of Monogram Residential Trust.

Allnutt joined Greystar in 2014, primarily to launch the firm’s multifamily business in London. Since his arrival, the firm’s development pipeline has grown to over 2,750 units with a value of £1.5 billion ($1.93 billion; €1.64 billion). Prior to that, Allnutt had stints at Thames Valley Housing Association and Reading Borough Council as group commercial director and senior development manager respectively.

Allnutt’s appointment as UK managing director means Greystar has now filled three of four country head roles earmarked at the beginning of the year. In February, the firm hired Charles Ma, former head of global strategy at China Vanke, to lead its China operations. While in April, Greystar also recruited Chris Key, formerly head of finance at JLL, to head up its strategy in Australia. The only position yet to be filled is head of Japan.

“It’s a huge personal honor to be given the opportunity to play such a direct role in providing a solution to the housing crisis,” said Allnutt. “We want to provide rental housing communities at scale, delivered at speed and with an unprecedented level of service and amenity. This approach can, I believe, play a vital role in easing the housing crisis in London, and elsewhere in the country.”

“We have an ambitious target – to deliver 10,000 multifamily units and double the size of our Chapter student accommodation portfolio. Mark is the right person to lead our very talented team in London and drive forward our business in this important market,” said Wes Fuller, executive managing director of Greystar’s investment management business.

Since entering the UK market in 2013, Greystar has built up a property portfolio worth £3.5 billion, comprising over 32,000 units of both student housing and multifamily rental accommodation.