Los Angeles-based private equity real estate firm CBRE Investors recently promoted Lee Menifee to director of global strategy, a newly created position within the firm. Menifee was previously a senior director within the firm's global research team.
“When I started here ten years ago as a US-based investment advisor, almost all of our client base was US-based,” Menifee said. “My main objective was to look at US markets. My job has evolved with the need for increasing level of global coordination and increasing need for a view of the global markets.”
Using quantitative and qualitative analysis, Menifee will be responsible for market research to determine which markets offer the best investment prospects given the objectives of the firm's clients. He will also communicate his findings to the firm's current and prospective clients, as well as its consultants.
Menifee has a long history in real estate. “I got into this business straight out of graduate school,” he said. “My interest was always in real estate and in studying markets.”
Following Menifee's promotion, the firm also plans on hiring additional research associates. “We are currently expanding now, filling openings in Los Angeles, as well as in Paris, London and Asia,” he says. Menifee will be responsible for coordinating the global research teams.
In July, the firm also expanded its global investor services team with the appointment of three new members: Nicole Bise, now a director; Laura Wilks, becoming an associate in the UK; and Jane Hufnagel, who will be responsible for investor and internal communications and will also play a larger role in the firm's global communications strategy.
“More and more clients are coming to us asking for guidance on how we see the world and how their global portfolio should look,” said Menifee. “We help our clients have a strategic view on the world.”
Menifee holds a Master's degree in urban planning from the University of Southern California, and a BA in environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Michael Casey joins Blackstone fundraising team
The Blackstone Group has appointed Michael Casey as a managing director in the firm's limited partner relations and fund placement group where he will be tasked with raising capital for Blackstone's private investment funds. Formerly president of Cliffwood Partners, Casey was responsible for capital raising and investor relations, as well as new product development, at the Los Angeles-based property firm. He was also a member of the firm's investment committee. Prior to Cliffwood, Casey was managing director and senior portfolio manager at Chicago's Heitman Capital Management, where he served on the firm's investment and management committees. Before that, Casey spent 12 years with JMB Realty.
Park Hill adds Michael Stark to real estate group
New York-based placement agent Park Hill Real Estate Group has hired Michael Stark to join Charles Purse and Frank Schmitz as a senior managing principal at the firm. Stark was previously with Credit Suisse as a director and founding member of the Real Estate Private Fund Group. Prior to that, he worked in the real estate investment banking divisions at Credit Suisse and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, an investment bank acquired by Credit Suisse in 2000 . Park Hill was created by Blackstone in 2005. The firm's real estate group is helmed by Purse, also formerly of Credit Suisse, and Schmitz, who was the head of Principal Real Estate Investors.
ING Clarion makes two RE hires
Jon Spelke has joined ING Clarion as a senior vice president and development manager, according to the firm. Spelke will be based in the firm's Los Angeles office and will oversee development and opportunistic investments in the Western US. Spelke joins ING from Lennar Urban, where he was a vice president responsible for acquisitions and entitlements in the Western US. Before that, he was the director of real estate at Hillman Properties, where he was responsible for finding investments and managing existing investments. Spelke earned his BA from Northeastern University. In June, Sally Haskins joined the firm as a director in the client service and marketing department. According to the firm, Haskins will “assist in the growth of the firm by exploring global opportunities and establishing new distribution channels for ING Clarion's products.” Most recently, she was the head of Asia Pacific property for the Russell Investment Group and began her career as an acquisitions officer with the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.
Liquid Realty adds secondaries analyst
San Francisco-based real estate secondaries firm Liquid Realty has hired Stephen Maxon as an analyst in the firm's acquisitions group. Maxon is the third addition to Liquid Realty's investment team since the beginning of the year. Maxon was previously a consultant with Accenture in the finance and performance management practice where he built financial business models. He also worked on global outsourcing design and post-merger integration projects which totaled more than $2 billion (€1.4 billion).