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Carlyle hires new RE partner – Exclusive

The new executive will lead the Washington, DC-based private equity firm’s real estate fundraising team, replacing Alok Gaur.

The Carlyle Group has tapped Greenhill executive Lee Purcell to head its real estate fundraising efforts.

Purcell is understood to have resigned from his post at Greenhill last week and will be assuming his new role in the fall. He will be based in Carlyle’s New York office and report to Michael Arpey, Carlyle’s head of investor relations. Both Greenhill and Carlyle declined to comment.

At Carlyle, Purcell will be managing director and partner and oversee the Washington, DC-based private equity firm’s real estate fundraising team, which includes five client-facing professionals dedicated to the asset class, as well as two market fulfillment professionals that handle due diligence questionnaires and other investor requests. PERE understands that the firm may potentially add to the team after Purcell begins his new position.

He replaces Alok Gaur, who previously led Carlyle’s real estate fundraising efforts. Gaur left in July to accept a new position at Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management as global co-head of its client capital group.

Purcell is currently a managing director in Greenhill’s capital advisory group. Prior to joining Greenhill, he was a director at the Credit Suisse’s real estate private fund group from 2006 to 2010, when multiple members of the group decamped for Greenhill to establish a real estate placement advisory business there. Before Credit Suisse, he worked as an analyst in Deutsche Bank’s real estate investment banking group and as an associate at Carlyle.

The private equity firm has had a history of plucking real estate capital raisers from Greenhill. In 2011, Gaur, with whom Purcell had worked at both Credit Suisse and Greenhill, left the investment bank to become Carlyle’s first dedicated global real estate investor relations professional.

In September 2012, Douglas Kinney followed in Gaur’s footsteps and joined Carlyle’s investor relations team as a managing director, also focused on real estate. Arpey had previously worked with Gaur, Kinney and Purcell at Credit Suisse, where he was a co-head of the firm’s customized fund investment group from 2000 to 2010.

In May, Kinney departed Carlyle to become executive vice president of client relations and product development in the Chicago office of Bentall Kennedy, in a newly-created role. His responsibilities include client relations and new product initiatives across Bentall Kennedy’s US business.

Carlyle currently is on the fundraising trail with a number of real estate-focused vehicles. During an earnings call in April, the firm’s co-chief executive Bill Conway said that the firm was seeking to raise at least $500 million for a China-focused real estate fund. PERE reported earlier this month that Carlyle had amassed approximately $500 million in two closes for its open-ended core-plus real estate vehicle, Carlyle Property Investors, and expected to reach $1 billion in capital commitments by year-end.

The firm also closed on a total of $4.2 billion for its latest global opportunistic real estate fund, Carlyle Realty Partners VII, in September 2015. Carlyle had invested $1.62 billion of the fund’s capital as of June 30, according to its second-quarter earnings report.