Deutsche Bank announces leadership team at RREEF

In his first interview with PERE since Deutsche Bank’s strategic review of its asset management division in 2011, RREEF Alternatives chief Pierre Cherki says the group will expand upon its investor base by encompassing retail clients and will offer a broad range of products addressing investors’ needs.

Deutsche Bank today announced the leadership team for its alternatives business, having integrated it within the Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (AWM) division created last September.

In the biggest change, John McCarthy, former head of RREEF Infrastructure, has left the business to pursue other opportunities. Effective immediately, the global RREEF Infrastructure business will now be led by Hamish Mackenzie and Nadir Maruf, who was formerly head of infrastructure for Asia-Pacific and is now taking on an expanded role to cover all alternative asset classes in the Asia-Pacific region, including real estate.

The new leadership team will report to Pierre Cherki, head of RREEF Alternatives, who gave his first interview to PERE since Deutsche Bank announced a strategic review of parts of Deutsche Bank Asset Management in late 2011. That review eventually led to the newly integrated AWM division housing RREEF Real Estate and Infrastructure.

The team consists of Georg Allendorf, head of real estate Germany; Theresa Gusman, head of commodities; Todd Henderson, head of real estate Americas; Michael Luciano, chief operating officer; Nadir Maruf, head of Asia-Pacific alternative investments; Hamish Mackenzie, head of infrastructure Europe and infrastructure debt; Gianluca Muzzi, head of real estate Europe ex Germany; Mark Roberts, head of research and strategy; and John Robertson, head of real estate and infrastructure securities.

Speaking as RREEF and Deutsche Bank look to draw a line under the corporate uncertainly of the first nine months of 2012, Cherki said: “2013 is an opportunity to turn the page. We spent most of last year on organizational issues. Now, we want to focus on growing the business.”

Cherki said the group firstly wanted to make sure that performance of the (fund) products was good. Then, he explained how RREEF wanted to add and offer a broad range of products to investors, as well as expand upon the existing investor base.

“When you look at the past, we had a very strong focus on institutional clients, but we want to make sure we look more broadly at retail clients as well,” said Cherki. To that end, RREEF just announced a US non-traded REIT, RREEF Property Trust, publicly offering up to $2.5 billion in shares of common stock in a vehicle looking to invest in high-quality, income-producing commercial real estate properties.

Going forward, Cherki said RREEF would focus on the products it wants to offer, which will factor in a combination of commingled funds and separate accounts. And, he also hinted at an imminent rebranding exercise across the AWM business that is likely to include the words ‘real assets’. 

“We are looking at branding and how we use brands across the wealth management business – not only in RREEF,” Cherki said. “We have a large number of brands that we intend to harmonize. We are looking at different names, and ‘real assets’ will feature in that.”

Addressing the leadership changes, Cherki noted: “Hamish and Nadir have extensive industry experience and are very well qualified to lead the infrastructure business. They both have outstanding track records in identifying investment opportunities for our clients and successfully executing transactions.”

Cherki added: “Infrastructure is an increasingly important asset class within our alternative investments offering. New types of investors are coming into the asset class, such as insurance companies seeking stable investments with attractive income streams. This creates significant opportunities for the infrastructure business as part of an integrated Asset & Wealth Management division.”