Brookfield hires new capital raiser

Former Prudential Real Estate Investors executive Robert Bilse has been appointed vice president of Brookfield’s private funds group, based in New York, supporting capital raising and marketing activities.

Brookfield Asset Management has hired former Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) director Robert Bilse. Bilse has joined the Toronto-based fund manager’s private funds group as vice president and will be based in New York, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bilse was hired from PREI, where he was a director in the global marketing and investor relations group. Prior to joining the Parsippany, New Jersey-based firm, Bilse worked at Broadway Partners, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Bilse is expected to support Brookfield's capital raising activites, including its real estate opportunity funds, and marketing functions. Last week, Brookfield revealed in its first quarter report that it had begun fundraising on a $4 billion opportunistic real estate fund that will encompass all of its new opportunistic real estate investment activities around the globe.

Brookfield also is marketing two new private equity funds – a follow-on fund to its Special Situations Fund series for distressed investments and a private equity fund focused on Brazil – each targeting $1 billion. All told, the firm will have seven funds in the market during the next two years, looking to raise more than $7 billion in equity through a mix of opportunistic, value-added and private equity strategies.

Meanwhile, in its annual report released in March, Brookfield revealed that it still had $3.1 billion of dry powder remaining in its Real Estate Turnaround Consortium, which closed on $5.5 billion of equity in 2009 from a handful of the world’s largest institutional investors. As a club fund, the vehicle provides the investors greater discretion over acquisitions than a traditional commingled vehicle. One of the Turnaround Consortium’s largest deals was the $1.6 billion recapitalisation of US mall REIT General Growth Properties.