Cortland hires Evercore executive amid fundraising momentum

The Atlanta-based multifamily specialist is bringing aboard a capital raising veteran who previously was a placement agent for 20 years.

Cortland, an Atlanta-based multifamily-focused manager, has added a 20-year capital raising veteran to its team on the back of continued fundraising momentum at the firm, PERE has learned.

Manjul Ramchandani joined the firm Monday as executive vice-president of client relations and capital markets. He reports to Ned Stiker, senior managing director and head of client relations and capital markets. Ramchandani will be based in Cortland’s Greenwich, Connecticut office and be responsible for raising capital from institutional clients and consultants for all of the firm’s investment strategies and vehicles.

“Manjul will be a dedicated senior resource engaging our most important LPs and consultants in the US and overseas,” Stiker told PERE. “His seniority and track record align perfectly with Cortland’s commitment to providing best-in-class service to key strategic clients.”

Manjul Ramchandani
Ramchandani: has joined Cortland as it seeks to raise its largest-ever fund

Cortland’s capital partners include a broad range of global sovereign wealth funds, US state and local pension plans, corporations and high-net-worth individuals. Among those investors are the US pension funds New York State Common Retirement Fund and Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System as well as Italian pension plan La Cassa dei Dottori Commercialisti.

The firm is one of the biggest risers in this year’s PERE 200 ranking of mid-market managers, which will be unveiled next week, thanks to $1.3 billion raised during the qualifying five-year period. Cortland currently is in market with Cortland Enhanced Value Fund VI, which has attracted $541.76 million to date, against a $1.5 billion target, according to PERE data. If successful, the fund would be the firm’s largest-ever and more than twice as large as its predecessor, Cortland Enhanced Value Fund V. The firm closed on a total of $650 million for that fund in 2021, PERE data showed.

Ramchandani comes to Cortland after 22 years as a placement agent. He most recently was a managing director of real estate capital advisory for investment bank Evercore for New York for the past five years. Prior to Evercore, he was managing director at Greenhill’s real assets capital advisory group from 2010 to 2018 and director at Credit Suisse’s real estate private fund group from 2001 to 2010.  Before that, he was an analyst and associate at investment bank Lazard from 1996 to 2001 and began his career as a financial analyst at JE Robert Companies.

Ramchandani replaces Chris Lennon, who left Cortland last year, and will be one of nine professionals on its capital markets team. His hire follows the recruitment of Vornado Realty Trust’s Jan LaChapelle as its head of debt capital markets in March. The firm plans to further expand the capital markets group but declined to provide specifics at this time.

His hire also comes a week after PERE reported another Evercore executive, Sarah Warmisham, was joining Related Fund Management after working as the firm’s placement agent since 2015.

“Real estate GPs are continuing to hire capital-raising professionals even in this difficult fundraising market,” said Wendy Norton, managing director at New York-based executive search firm Norgay Partners. “Firms are realizing now more than ever how important it is to have someone in-house waving their banner year-round rather than solely relying on a placement agent to raise a particular fund. Candidates in an in-house role versus a placement agent are getting a ‘seat at the table’ and the ability to drive a strategy.”

She added: “Firms place a high value on having a capital raising professional who can create new relationships with investors, broaden their reach into new geographies and new investor types. Re-ups are not guaranteed and firms are investing in fundraising and IR talent to help maintain existing relationships as well. It’s more important than ever before to have ‘an all-hands-on-deck approach’ in order to succeed.”