Fir Tree hires new head of RE capital raising

Dan Vene, a former partner at placement agent Eaton Partners, has joined the New York-based investment manager to lead capital-raising efforts and client relations for the firm’s real estate opportunity funds.

New York-based investment manager Fir Tree Partners has recruited Dan Vene as head of capital raising and client relations for the firm’s real estate opportunity funds. In a newly created position, he will report to Ben Ghriskey, head of client relations, and Jarret Cohen, head of private real estate, and work closely with both the firm’s real estate and investor relations teams.

“Fir Tree created this senior investor relations role to more efficiently cover its real estate funds’ LPs,” which include endowments, foundations, pension funds and financial institutions, said James Walker, managing partner at Fir Tree. The firm, which has made opportunistic real estate investments since its launch in 1994, currently manages more than $3 billion in real estate-related assets.

Vene previously served as a partner in the real estate practice at Eaton Partners, a Rowayton, Connecticut-based placement agent, where he had worked since 2007. Prior to that, he served as chief operating officer and principal at Allegiance Capital, a Dallas-based private investment bank specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

Last October, Fir Tree held a final close of $628 million for its Real Estate Opportunity Fund II, surpassing its original $500 million target. The firm said at the time that the fund already was 90 percent invested in a variety of loans, real assets and securities. Fir Tree is expected to launch a successor fund in late 2012 or early 2013.

Fir Tree launched its first real estate fund in 2008 and collected $400 million in commitments for the vehicle. Fund I has returned 100 percent of investor capital contributions and currently is distributing profits.