Goldman Sachs restructures real estate leadership after senior departures

The investment banking giant's real estate platform now has a sole global head, along with new heads of EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management has reshuffled its real estate leadership following the departure of two heads of the business earlier this year.

Garman: will lead the real estate business with Reddy and Spencer

Jim Garman, who previously served as global co-head of real estate with Takashi Murata, will become sole global head of GSAM’s real estate platform, according to an internal memo seen by PERE. In his new role, Garman will relocate to New York to oversee the growth of the real estate platform and lead its investment strategies.

Garman joined Goldman Sachs in 1992 and has held several senior roles in the organization, including the co-head of the real estate merchant banking division and head of EMEA real estate.

Richard Spencer will become EMEA head of real estate and Nikhil Reddy will become Asia-Pacific head of real estate, the memo stated. Having joined the US firm in 2009, Spencer oversaw the firm’s real estate credit strategies in Europe and was the chief investment officer of its Real Estate Credit Partners fund series. Reddy joined the firm’s special situations group in New York in 2008. He relocated to Hong Kong in 2021 to become a managing director in its asset management division.

Spencer, based in London, joined the firm in 2009 and was named managing director in 2012 and partner in 2018. Reddy was hired by Goldman Sachs in 2008 and named managing director in 2019.

The appointments came after the announced departures of GSAM’s head of US real estate Gaurav Seth and head of Asia-Pacific real estate Murata over the past six months. Goldman did not identify a new head of Americas real estate in its internal memo.

In a LinkedIn post six months ago, Seth said he was leaving Goldman after nearly 25 years at the firm, while in an internal memo last month, Warburg Pincus chief executive Chip Kaye and president Jeff Perlman said Murata will join the private equity heavyweight early next year as co-head of Asia real estate. Seth is a fellow Warburg Pincus recruit, and will start as managing director in the firm’s capital-solutions group in New York this month, according to a Bloomberg report published in February.

The shake-up in GSAM’s real estate team comes a year after the investment banking group staged a comeback in managing third-party capital in private real estate. The firm raised $3.5 billion in April 2022 for West Street Real Estate Investment Partners, targeting core-plus and value-add real estate opportunities globally. This was the first private real estate fund launched by the institution after it ended its opportunistic Whitehall Street funds series in 2008 due to poor performance. Whitehall’s biggest fund, the $4.2 billion Whitehall Street Global Real Estate 2007, ultimately returned 75 cents on the dollar.

The return to third-party real estate equity management was part of Goldman Sachs’ broader plan to grow its alternative investments business, according to a PERE report last year. In January 2020, the firm set an initial target of $150 billion in gross inflows for alternative investments by the end of 2024 but raised the target to $225 billion last year.