Courtland Partners, the long-established US institutional real estate consultant, has made a hire for Europe and is considering opening an office in London, PERE has learned. The Cleveland, Ohio-based firm, which was established in 1995 and is a competitor to The Townsend Group, has hired Gianluca Romano as managing director to spearhead the effort.
Romano joined this month, having held a number of other roles within the real estate industry. Most recently, he was at Vision Consulting as a director, but he also had spells at Boston Venture Partners, ABN AMRO in its structured real estate capital group and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, where he managed distressed portfolios in Italy totalling more than €5 billion in gross book value.
According to the company, Courtland is looking to open an office in London to complement the hire as more European capital looks towards diversifying into US real estate. Last year, it is thought that Courtland won a beauty parade among US consultants for a significant mandate to advise a large French insurance company on investing in North America for the first time.
As well as Cleveland, Courtland has offices in Los Angeles and also has consultants in New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Raleigh, North Carolina. An office outside of North America would be a first for the firm.
Though considered a competitor of the likes of Townsend, Courtland says it is exclusively a consulting firm and does not provide fund of funds or co-investment fund products. The firm is led by Michael Humphrey, managing principal. Prior to starting the firm, he was at Townsend for four years as a senior consultant responsible for a number of state and other pension clients.