CBRE Investment Management’s CEO departs

Charles Leitner has left the investment management business of CBRE after joining the New York-based manager only three years ago.

Charles Leitner, chief executive of CBRE Investment Management, has retired after three years at the New York-based firm, PERE has learned.

“Chuck Leitner decided to retire as CEO of CBRE Investment Management at the end of 2022,” a company spokeswoman wrote in a statement shared with PERE. “We thank Chuck for his impactful leadership and congratulate him on his well-earned retirement following a career that has spanned more than 40 years.”

Chuck Leitner CBRE IM
Leitner: Leaves CBRE IM after three years as CEO

No immediate successor in the CEO role has been identified. “We took this opportunity to update the existing leadership structure of CBRE IM under the leadership of Danny Queenan, CEO of CBRE’s Real Estate Investments business segment, which includes CBRE IM,” the statement said. “Danny is playing a hands-on role in working with our existing leaders to guide our business strategy given his deep experience with CBRE IM.”

Leitner, who joined CBRE IM from Berkshire Group in 2019, was the third executive to serve in the CEO post in as many years.

He succeeded Ritson Ferguson, who stepped down after three years in the role but continued as CEO of CBRE Clarion Securities, the real asset securities business he co-founded in 1991. Ferguson, meanwhile, replaced Matt Khourie, who was head of the business, then known as CBRE Investors, for six years and led CBRE Investors’ acquisition of ING REIM in 2011.

Queenan became chief operating officer of what was then known as CBRE Global Investors in August 2015 before being promoted to president in December 2016. He subsequently was elevated to the newly created role of global CEO of CBRE’s real estate investments business, which includes CBRE IM and Trammel Crow Company, as part of a company reorganization in August 2018.

Following Leitner’s departure, three key leaders at CBRE IM will report to Queenan directly. They include president Andy Glanzman, who is responsible for day-to-day operations and executing the firm’s global strategy; chief investment officer Kim Hourihan, who is in charge of investment strategy, performance and risk; and head of client solutions Bernie McNamara, who is responsible for capital raising, client engagement and portfolio solutions. Hourihan returns to her CIO role at CBRE IM after assuming the CIO post for CBRE REI from January to November 2022, according to her LinkedIn profile.

During his tenure as CEO, Leitner played an instrumental role in a number of major CBRE IM transactions, including the $4.9 billion acquisition of a 57-asset, 28.4-million square-foot portfolio of logistics properties in the US and Europe from Hillwood Investment Properties, announced in January 2022. At the time, Leitner called the deal a “milestone transaction” that would position the firm “to be one of the world’s leading investors and operators of logistics assets.”