Former RREEF director joins Waterton

The Chicago-based multifamily investment firm has brought on its first in-house investor relations person, following the recent launch of its latest real estate fund.

Waterton Associates has hired Michelle Wells as senior vice president of investor relations. In the newly created position, Wells will serve as the Chicago-based private equity real estate firm’s first dedicated internal investor relations person, and will be responsible for client and consultant relations, as well as marketing and public relations. She starts at the firm today and will be based in San Francisco.

The firm, which focuses on the ownership and management of multifamily properties across the US, is said to be making its latest hire on the heels of the recent launch of its latest real estate fund, Waterton Residential Property Venture XII. The new investor relations position is intended to help formalize the firm’s existing investor reporting and communications process as well as spearhead fundraising activities.

Sources said that Park Madison Partners has been hired as the placement agent on the new vehicle, having previously helped to market Waterton’s first large commingled fund, Waterton Residential Property Venture XI, which raised $500 million in a single close in February 2011. Wells will be working in collaboration with Park Madison on the new capital raise – which is expected to be similar in size to the predecessor fund – but is expected to manage future fundraising efforts internally.

Prior to joining Waterton, Wells served for two years as a director with RREEF Real Estate, where she was responsible for West Coast client and consultant relations. Before that, she was in charge of investor communications at CorAmerica Capital from 2009 to 2011, and held similar roles at The Praedium Group from 2006 to 2009 and AIG Global Real Estate from 2003 to 2006.

Waterton currently owns 51 investments representing over 20,000 units in 13 states. In addition to direct real estate investments, the firm holds four debt positions secured by multifamily properties with total principal balances exceeding $1 billion.