Brookfield hires ex-RREEF Asia head Thassim

The global alternative asset manager has appointed Niel Thassim as head of Asia for its Private Funds Group to drive fundraising for private investment vehicles across its asset classes.

Brookfield Asset Management has hired the former head of Asia real estate at RREEF for a role responsible for leading its fundraising in the region.

The global alternative asset manager, with approximately $150 billion of assets under management, announced today it had hired Niel Thassim as head of Asia for its Private Funds Group. He started the role this week and is based in Hong Kong.

Reporting directly to Leo van den Thillart, managing partner of the Private Funds Group, Thassim is responsible for driving fundraising for its existing private vehicles and to maintain relationships with leading investors in the region.

The Private Funds Group manages vehicles focused on real estate, infrastructure, timberland and agriland and private equity. While Thassim was previously focused purely on real estate, in his new role his remit will include all of these asset classes. It is understood there currently are no plans for dedicated Asia private equity real estate funds.

Van den Thillart said: “Brookfield has strong historic ties to Asian investors and we are delighted that Niel has joined the firm to build on our franchise in this dynamic region. Niel has proven experience in alternative asset management and his solid institutional and consultant relationships will be integral to establishing lasting partnerships between Brookfield and our clients.”

PERE reported last June that Thassim and RREEF’s chief investment officer Paul Keogh were to leave the Deutsche Bank subsidiary amid negotiations between the investment bank and New York-based financial services firm Guggenheim Partners to sell the business.

The sale collapsed and Deutsche Bank determined in September that RREEF was an integral part of a new Asset & Wealth Management division. By then, however, Thassim and Keogh were in gardening leave periods.

Keogh joined AustralianSuper as its direct investment manager for real estate last month as part of the state investment fund’s five year plan to internalise 30 percent of its funds under management, according to Australia’s Super Review.

Thassim has joined a firm with little exposure to Asia real estate currently. While the firm has about $103 billion of real estate assets under management, the vast majority of that is in North America with the Asian contingent being mainly in Australia.