AREIT appoints Purdon CIO

The Dubai-based fund manager plans to launch three funds targeting the Middle East’s real estate markets in 2009. To help with the task, AREIT has hired former Landmark Real Estate Investment Management CEO Chris Purdon.

Chris Purdon has joined the Dubai-based fund manager AREIT Management as chief investment officer in a bid to help the firm launch three more property funds in 2009.

AREIT, which manages the $200 million Arabian Real Estate Investment Trust (AREIT) fund, said in a statement it had hired the former Landmark Real Estate Investment Management chief executive officer to oversee the firm’s investments and help launch new platforms in the next 12 months.

The firm said it expected to launch a second REIT to follow on from AREIT, which was launched in 2006, as well as a “regional opportunity fund and a Shariah-compliant Saudi real estate fund”.

Stephen Atkinson, AREIT chief executive officer, said: “We intend to launch new funds in 2009 and Chris will play an important role in the firm’s growth.”

At Dubai-based Landmark, Purdon oversaw the firm’s two Middle East focused real estate opportunity funds. He has also worked for Jones Lang LaSalle and the former investment bank Jardine Fleming.

The AREIT fund was launched in 2006 by HSBC Bank Middle East and asset manager Daman, targeting the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The seven-year REIT is targeting IRRs of 15 percent, according to press statements at the time of the launch.