Apollo to make Orf head of Europe

New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management is to make Roger Orf head of its European real estate business and give the veteran dealmaker an expanded global role as it nears completion of its takeover of Citi Property Investors.

Apollo Global Management is to make private equity real estate veteran Roger Orf property head following the takeover of Citi Property Investors (CPI).

PERE has learned that Orf, who is currently president and chief executive officer at CPI, will formally assume the position when the takeover completes. This could be as soon as this month or early in September.

The position rekindles the professional relationship Orf had with Joseph Azrack, who was global head of CPI until he left to join Apollo in 2008. It will see Orf lead both the firm’s investment and fundraising efforts in the Europe.

He will also play a central role in helping Apollo formulate its investment and fundraising strategies globally as well as building client relationships alongside Azrack and Apollo’s head of Asia real estate, Grant Kelley. Orf is also to continue leading the management of CPI’s existing funds.

In the wake of the takeover, current CPI head of Europe, Neil Hasson, is joining Citi Alternative Investments, which manages private equity, hedge funds, and real estate products. Among Hasson’s new responsibilities will be the management of certain co-investments by the European fund and other entities within Citigroup.

Hasson joined CPI in 2005 from DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners where he was head of European real estate.

Apollo’s takeover of CPI, first agreed in March, has resulted in numerous senior departures to date. Of those departutres, head of North America, Larry Ellman resigned in February to join Boston-based Berkshire Group. More recently, Ravi Hansoty is understood to have decided to leave when the merger is complete to launch his own platform.

CPI had approximately $8 billion of assets under management as of January this year. The assets were purchased via three vehicles – the CPI Capital Partners Europe fund, which closed in November 2006 on €1.16 billion, the CPI Capital North America fund, which closed in November 2006 on $600 million and the CPI Capital Asia fund, which closed in February 2007 on $1.29 billon.

While the equity of the North America and Asia funds has been committed to investments, there is currently approximately €300 million of uncalled capital left in the European fund. PERE understands, however, the investment period deadline for the vehicle expires in November although an extension is plausible.

Neither CPI nor Apollo were available for comment at press time.