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Gaw USA hires capital raiser

The US arm of the Hong Kong-based private equity real estate firm, led by former New Jersey Division of Investment director Tim Walsh, has recruited the pension plan’s real estate consultant.

Gaw Capital Partners USA, the new US-focused entity of Hong Kong-based real estate fund manager Gaw Capital Partners, has brought on its third new hire. Roman Nemtsov will join the firm as a senior vice president and will be responsible for capital raising and investor relations.

Nemtsov, currently a consultant in the Chicago office of RV Kuhns & Associates, a Portland, Oregon-based investment consulting firm, will join Gaw USA on Monday. He reports to Timothy Walsh, the former New Jersey Division of Investment (NJDOI) director who left the pension plan last year to become the new entity’s president and chief operating officer. Nemtsov’s hire comes as Gaw prepares to begin fundraising for its first US-focused vehicle with a target of $300 million to $500 million, as previously announced in September.

NJDOI was one of the most high-profile institutional real estate clients of Nemtsov, and he made a name for himself advising the pension plan on its $1 billion sale of real estate fund interests to NorthStar Realty Finance and Goldman Sachs Asset Management last year. Nemtsov and Walsh, however, previously worked together for a year during Walsh’s two-year tenure as chief investment officer of the Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund, where RV Kuhns also served as a real estate consultant. RV Kuhns became NJDOI’s real estate consultant about six months after Walsh joined as director in August 2010, replacing the pension plan’s former consultant, The Townsend Group, through a request-for-proposals process.

Nemtsov joined RV Kuhns as an associate consultant in 2008 and has advised on private and public equity real estate investments during his five years at the firm. He previously worked at real estate consulting firm Courtland Partners, where he focused on assisting in the review and negotiation of private equity real estate and infrastructure transactions as a senior analyst.

Nemtsov is the third new recruit for Gaw USA, following last month’s appointment of Ashish Gupta, who will be responsible for the firm’s US investments as senior vice president of acquisitions. Together, Walsh, Gupta and Nemtsov will cover the US, with Gupta based in Gaw USA’s new New York office, Nemtsov in Chicago and Walsh dividing his time between Los Angeles and Chicago. All told, however, Gaw USA now has a staff of about 15 people, including several employees that were transferred from Downtown Properties, a Los Angeles-based associate company launched by Gaw Capital founder Goodwin Gaw 1991.