EXCLUSIVE: CBRE GI expands separate accounts business

The Los Angeles-based real estate investment management firm has created a global separate accounts board and promoted two senior executives to lead its efforts.

CBRE Global Investors, the Los Angeles-based real estate investment management firm, has promoted two senior executives within its separate accounts business who will lead a newly-created executive board. The board will oversee an enhanced separate accounts infrastructure which will include in-country native-speaking relationship managers for large separate accounts teamed up with “country champions” who will have responsibility for creating the country-specific investment strategies for separate account clients and effectuating that strategy via capital deployment, Matt Khourie, chief executive of CBRE GI told PERE.

James Clifton-Brown, who works as chairman of EMEA separate accounts and as UK chief investment officer, will have his current role expanded by becoming chairman of the global separate accounts executive board. Pieter Roozenboom, who currently manages the separate accounts business in EMEA, will now also take on the role of head of global separate accounts and executive director of the new board.

“It’s an evolution to make our separate accounts business more sophisticated. Using research tools and analysis to ensure we most effectively utilize the in-country resources we have embedded in our 21 countries,” said Khourie. “We want to make sure there is a global investment strategy for each of these investors so that they have a balanced portfolio which includes the appropriate product types and levels of risk, so that we can take a global portfolio approach to their separate accounts business.”

“Investors increasingly need global diversification, coupled with the customization and control elements of a separate account,” Khourie added. “The global separate accounts executive board will help us further address this increasing demand by ensuring a coordinated approach worldwide.”

CBRE GI has $37 billion in separate account assets under management worldwide as of December 31, 2014 – a 10 percent increase over the previous year. The firm raised $5.4 billion and deployed $5.3 billion in separate account equity on behalf of its clients globally in 2014.

Last week Khourie told PERE that the firm has started 2015 with $6 billion of dry powder for investments around the world, most of that raised via separate accounts. “We’re coming into this year with much more dry powder than we’ve had in previous years. I’d say we’ve had above-market success in capital raising which will allow us to buy more this year than we’ll sell” he said.