Ares to hire MetLife exec – Exclusive

The Los Angeles-based alternative asset manager is furthering its push into private real estate debt with a new capital raiser, four months after hiring a real estate debt co-head.

Ares is expanding its investor relations team with the hire of Met Life real estate executive Dhaval Parikh.

Parikh is understood to be joining the Los Angeles-based alternative asset manager next month and will have a dual function in his new role. Firstly, he will be working with Julie Solomon, head of product management and investor relations in real estate, to help raise capital across all of Ares’ real estate products in the US and Europe, with a particular focus on private debt.

At the same time, Parikh also will be teaming with Jamie Henderson, who joined the firm in April as co-head of real estate debt, to market and develop new products in the space.

While PERE understands that Ares has four private real estate-focused people on its more than 30-strong IR team, Parikh would be the firm’s sole private real estate-debt focused IR hire, according to two sources familiar with the matter. John Stilmar acts as the public IR person for Ares’ publicly-traded specialty finance company, ACRE.

Parikh has acted as a director in the institutional client group at MetLife Investment Management for the past two years. He is responsible for the firm’s relationships with institutional investors and consultants and is part of MIM’s management team.

Before MetLife, Parikh worked at BlackRock’s alternatives investments group for nine years, where he developed relationships with institutional investors and consultants, helped raise capital for multiple real estate funds and oversaw investor servicing.

Parikh is the second senior real estate-focused capital raiser to be departing MetLife this year. In May, Amy Cummings, a managing director responsible for the development and management of relationships with institutional investors and consultants, left the insurer after more than two years to join New York-based placement and advisory firm Park Madison Partners as a partner.

Ares declined to comment and MetLife did not respond to a request for comment.

Ares had $10.8 billion in real estate AUM as of June 30, including approximately $7.8 billion in assets under management in equity and $3 billion in debt. It has a real estate debt team of about 20 professionals that make investments through both private funds and ACRE. Its debt investments are primarily focused on direct originations but also include secondary market acquisitions and club or syndicated deals.

MetLife managed nearly $72 billion in real estate assets as of March 31, including $53 billion in commercial mortgages and $18.9 billion in real estate equity.