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Former UBS and AXA chief joins Delin as senior advisor

Paul Marcuse, former group managing director of global real estate at UBS Asset Management and CEO of AXA Real Estate, has joined Delin Capital Asset Management. The appointment comes as headhunters in Europe report high demand for such senior advisors.

Delin Capital Asset Management (DCAM), a European company that closed its maiden private equity real estate fund last November, has appointed as a senior advisor Paul Marcuse, the former group managing director of real estate at UBS Global Asset Management.

Delin, which closed on €200 million of equity commitments for a European logistics vehicle and is focused on the UK, the Netherlands, and Belgium, explained it wanted to appoint Marcuse given his “extensive knowledge” of the logistics and finance sector as well as the “broader business environment”.

In a statement, Christian Jamison, chief executive officer said Marcuse would provide DCAM with “important commercial and strategic insight.” He added: “Paul has an impressive and established track record in developing fund management businesses and we expect this to greatly benefit the strategic direction and growth of our business.”

This is the second senior advisor appointment at DCAM after Graeme McFaull, a previous group chief executive officer of Wincanton, a publicly listed supply chain logistics company joined in 2011.

Prior to serving as UBS’ chief of real estate for five years between 2007 and 2013,Marcuse was chief executive of AXA Real Estate Investment Management for seven years between 2000 and 2007, and has therefore been at the helm of two of the largest European real estate asset managers in the past decade.

News of his appointment comes as headhunters in Europe told PERE that demand is high among various real estate fund managers and other investors for senior real estate advisors. In an article to published in the May issue of PERE magazine, Caroline Gibson, head of real estate and private equity at London-based Alderbrooke, said there are several live mandates.

She said: “It is happening right now. As investment firms are looking to re-enter or allocate more capital to real estate in Europe, the senior advisor model is definitely something that is becoming more prevalent.”

Examples in the recent past are at Oaktree Capital Management, which recruited Ian Coull in April 2012, and at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), which recruited Martin Moore in July 2013.

Gibson pointed out that as European real estate is now seeing such buoyant interest from US firms and other organisations such as sovereign wealth funds, appointing special advisors had become “more common and more interesting to them”.

Her recent meetings with company boards, chief executives and senior advisors led to her producing a paper on the subject. In it she said the argument for wanting to appoint a senior advisor can be easily understood. Whilst they have often been referred to as a ‘hand break and an accelerator’, their appointment can offer an institution a deep insight into the property market having personally experienced multiple cycles.

Jersey-registered investment management firm Delin is part of Georgian entrepreneur, Igor Linshits’ Delin Capital Group which has interests in construction, building products, food and agriculture, though it is run as an independent company.

Linshits, the ultimate owner of Delin, was born in Georgia in 1963 and began his career in the oil business. In the 1990s his group, Neftyanoi, expanded from oil activities into non-oil commodities, winning a government contract to supply Russian wheat to Uzbekistan in exchange for cotton.

He moved into real estate in 2001 by setting up Delin Development which became a significant developer in Moscow. Delin has raised a debut fund called Capital Preservation Portfolio I, which is focused on logistics property.