Ardian completes RE team with three MD hires

Ardian Real Estate, the property arm of AXA Private Equity spin-off Ardian, has added three executives to its management team 

Ardian Real Estate, the Paris-based property arm of private equity firm Ardian, has appointed three managing directors to strengthen its real estate activity.

Stephanie Bensimon will join the team as managing director France, Rodolfo Petrosino as managing director Southern Europe and Bernd Haggenmuller will join as managing director Germany. They will be based in Paris, Milan and Frankfurt respectively.

The three appointments have more than 60 years’ experience in the real estate industry between them and take the firm’s real estate team up to five.

The hires follow the September appointment of industry veteran Bertrand Julien-Laferrière, as head of Ardian real estate, the same month that the department was launched. Then in January the firm hired former Allianz chief executive Olivier Piani, as senior advisor and chairman of investment committees.

But the hiring for Ardian is set to continue as the firm is planning to expand the three offices’ staff to a total of 15 over the next 12 months.

Julien-Laferrière said: “The appointments of Stéphanie, Rodolfo and Bernd are important steps in the development of Ardian’s fifth pillar of investment. We have now senior directors in each of our three core European markets who will help us seize the opportunity to become a major player in real estate across Continental Europe.”

Bensimon has more than 17 years’ experience in real estate. She previously spent five years at Invesco Real Estate where she was head of transactions in France, Belgium and Southern Europe from 2011. Prior to that, she held roles at Carval Investors, part of the Cargill Group, and GE Real Estate Group in Paris.

Petrosino, who has over 25 years’ experience, was chief operating officer at Italian asset manager IDeA FIMIT from 2011. Previously he held a similar role at Pirelli Real Estate, having before that been in charge of Italian operations at Morgan Stanley.

Haggenmüller will join Ardian with over 20 years’ experience, most recently at Shaftesbury Asset Management in Frankfurt, where he was senior managing director Germany from 2007 until this year. He previously held roles as managing director at Multi Corporation, and Commerz Grundbesitz Group (now Commerz Real) and started his career with ECE Projektmanagement.

A spokesman for Ardian said it will focus on large cities in Germany, France and Italy, where the firm already has an extensive background in direct private investment. The spokesman added that Ardian will target commercial property assets with a significant size, in the core-plus/value-added sector.