E&Y promotes replacement for Koster

The accounting and financial firm has appointed Mark Grinis to global head of its real estate fund services, after Gary Koster’s move to the private equity practice.

Ernst & Young have promoted Mark Grinis to lead its global real estate fund practice, after Gary Koster moved to take on a new role in the firm’s private equity division.

Grinis is a senior partner at the accounting and financial services firm based in New York and continues to lead the US real estate distressed services group. He was also previously managing partner in the firm’s Asia Pacific financial services practice until 2004, responsible for real estate, Ernst & Young said in a statement.

In April, Koster surveyed 120 fund managers to reveal that nine out of 10 GPs expected opportunities to buy US distressed real estate would increase or increase significantly by the end of 2010 and that 2011 would be a “great vintage” for US property investments.

Presenting the firm’s 2010 market outlook report, Koster said at the time that 2010 would be a time when firms “set up … for the next chapter of opportunity. The sentiment for opportunistic investing in 2011 seems brighter and is being projected by many as the start of a great vintage of asset acquisitions.”

“What real estate fund managers are rooting for remains a mixed bag. Conflicting hopes by fund managers for either deeper distress or quick economic recovery are driven by their relative levels of current real estate investment exposure and the amount of fresh capital they have available to take advantage of new opportunities,” Koster said in his outlook. “Only one thing seems certain; real estate fund managers are unlikely to have it both ways.”