BlackRock senior fund manager to leave

Managing director Jay Alexander, once tipped as a future head of the investment manager’s entire real estate division, is to leave the firm.

Jay Alexander, one of the most senior real estate fund managers at New York-based investment manager BlackRock, is to leave the firm, PERE has learned.

Alexander, a managing director, was the fund manager and point man for BlackRock’s flagship real estate fund, the US-focused, open-ended core Granite Fund. The vehicle held assets valued at $4.6 billion as recently as June last year according to company marketing documents.

Alexander, who was once tipped as a future contender to head BlackRock’s real estate business, is expected to leave the firm this summer.

His departure comes a month after BlackRock announced it had hired LaSalle Investment Management’s chief investment officer Jack Chandler as its incoming global head of real estate. Chandler replaces Paul Audet, who assumed interim leadership of the $13 billion platform in 2008, succeeding previous platform head Fred Lieblich.

Alexander was part of the team that transferred to BlackRock when the firm acquired SSR Realty Advisors in January 2005.

Chandler’s appointment at BlackRock surprised some market participants because he had recently accepted a new post at LaSalle Investment Management as global chief investment officer and executive chairman of its Asia business.

He has been charged with overseeing BlackRock’s global real estate platform, mainly comprised currently of core and open-ended investment vehicles in the US and Europe.

BlackRock would not comment on his departure.