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Former Park Hill exec joins Macquarie

 Robert Lester, a veteran of The Blackstone Group, will co-lead the Australian financial services firm’s real estate business in the Americas.  

Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory and capital markets division of Macquarie Group, has hired Rob Lester as a managing director in its real estate group in New York. He jointly will lead the group’s efforts in the Americas with managing director Eric Wurtzebach.

“The addition of Rob is a significant expansion of our global real estate group and representative of our ongoing efforts to increase our presence in the Americas,” said Nick Butcher, head of North American infrastructure, US real estate and US resources for Macquarie Capital, in a statement. “Rob’s excellent experience and industry relationships will contribute significantly to our global real estate practice, which has raised $40 billion in private equity commitments since 2003.”

Macquarie Capital’s real estate group focuses on private equity capital raising through private real estate funds, investment clubs, single-asset or programmatic joint ventures and entity-level investments. Additionally, the group provides advisory services on private and public mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and recapitalizations, and real estate investment trust and real estate company capital raisings. Currently, the group has three other managing directors in the Americas, including Wurtzebach in New York, John Bartkiw in Toronto and Alan Braxton in Chicago, according to Macquarie’s website.

Before joining Macquarie, Lester served as a managing principal in The Blackstone Group’s real estate placement arm, Park Hill Real Estate Group, where he was part of the group’s origination and project management team, and is understood to have departed the firm in late April. He had worked at Blackstone for nearly a decade – longer than Park Hill Real Estate’s three co-heads, Charles Purse and Frank Schmitz, who co-founded the group in 2005, and Michael Stark, who joined as a senior managing principal in 2007. Prior to joining Park Hill, Lester held a variety of roles at Blackstone, including fundraising for the firm’s Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners funds series.