Westwind Capital, a new pan-European manager focused on life sciences and residential investments, has hired Mark Terry as its chief financial officer and chief operating officer.
Terry is the first hire for the London-based firm since being launched by Daniel Gorzawski, Harrison Street’s former head of Europe, in June. He comes to Westwind after an 11-year stint at Tristan Partners, where he served most recently as senior partner and funds’ CFO who oversaw the growth of the London firm’s portfolio to over €11 billion. In that role, Terry was involved in the launches, portfolio management and financings of all Tristan’s funds, having joined as one of the firm’s early hires. He also worked on other structures, including separate accounts and joint ventures.
It was that early-stage business experience that appealed to Gorzawski, who was in discussions with Terry for six months before the latter agreed to join. The two professionals had never previously worked together.
“A vital element in institutional fund management and building a successful platform is getting the right structures and governance in place. That is a big strength of Mark’s,” Gorzawski told PERE exclusively.
Gorzawski said it was a deliberate decision to make the joint CFO/COO role his first hire because of the European regulatory environment, which has become more complex post-Brexit. Given the amount of focus that investors and other counterparties place on regulatory compliance, particularly for first-time fund managers, it was paramount that the firm chose the right candidate for the role, Gorzawski said.
Terry also has worked through multiple cycles during his stints at the real estate group at Sydney-based Macquarie Group and former Singapore-based real estate manager MGPA, which was acquired by BlackRock in 2013. Gorzawski said it was important to hire someone who was equipped to navigate the current macroeconomic volatility.
“Being able to sit in the trenches with someone that you like to work with and can trust and rely on played a big role in both our decisions,” Gorzawski said.
As Harrison Street’s head of Europe from 2015-20, Gorzawski was the Chicago-based manager’s first employee in continental Europe and oversaw the growth of the European platform to €3 billion of assets. Prior to Harrison Street, he was managing director at AIG Real Estate, where he worked on pan-European opportunistic real estate deals, and before that, held positions at GE Capital. He expects to make additional senior hires in the coming months and assemble a team of five to 10 professionals by the end of the year.