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EQT RE ramps up with four more hires

Co-heads of EQT RE Edouard Fernandez and Rob Rackind recruited the quartet from Clearbell, Pramerica, AXA IM Real Estate and LNR Partners.

EQT Real Estate, the real estate arm of Nordic private equity juggernaut EQT, has ramped up its real estate operations with the hire of four new staff.

Nisha Raghavan joins as chief financial officer, Sofia Watt as director of asset management for the Nordics, Olivier Astruc as director of acquisitions for France and Thomas Tynan as associate. Current EQT director Axel Masucci has also had his role expanded to act as a link between EQT’s real estate arm and its wider platforms.

The firm, based in London, was formed in February last year by Fernandez and Rackind, formerly of private equity real estate firm Wainbridge, and Fredrick Elwing, formerly of Greenhill and Credit Suisse.

This month’s quartet of hires come just six months after EQT bolstered its team with three other appointments in October. Director Jonathan Hardie and associate Sam Childerstone both joined from Wainbridge, while Masucci moved internally from EQT Infrastructure. EQT Real Estate now has a 13-strong team.

Raghavan joins from UK real estate investment manager Clearbell Capital, where she was responsible for a variety of functions, including deal structuring and execution, risk management and debt structuring. Prior to this, she held senior roles at a number of firms, including Pears Global Real Estate Investors.

Watt, who has 15 years of real estate experience, previously spent seven years at Pramerica Real Estate Investors, where she was executive director and was responsible for asset management and transactions in the Nordics and the Netherlands.

Astruc, a 14-year real estate veteran, joins from AXA IM Real Assets, where he was responsible for sourcing, underwriting and closing transactions. He also worked at Pramerica, where he spent six years, most recently as head of transactions for France.

Tynan joined EQT Real Estate from LNR Partners, the real estate investment management and debt firm, where he was European analyst and a member of the investment management team.

EQT Real Estate was unavailable, for comment but at last January’s launch of the real estate arm, Lennart Blecher, deputy managing partner and head of infrastructure at EQT, said: “The real estate segment has long been dominated by North American private equity firms and there is a market opportunity for a pan-European player, applying opportunistic and value add strategies.”

EQT Real Estate’s parent company EQT, based in Stockholm, has raised approximately €22 billion across 17 funds from more than 300 global institutional investors.