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GreenOak hires Ostuni for European role

The private equity real estate firm founded by Sonny Kalsi, John Carrafiell and Fred Schmidt, has hired their former colleague Francesco Ostuni for an investment role based in London.

GreenOak Real Estate, the private equity real estate firm founded by Sonny Kalsi, John Carrafiell and Fred Schmidt, has bolstered its acquisitions personnel with the hire of Francesco Ostuni.

Ostuni joined this month from sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority as a principal with a responsibility for transactions in Europe.

Since forming in 2010, the firm’s European focus has been predominantly on London. However, it is understood that Ostuni’s arrival will extend its focus to opportunities in Spain, particularly Madrid, where it is has established a joint venture partnership.

The 13-year professional has joined GreenOak’s 14-strong team in London where he is working closely with regional head Carrafiell. The two have worked together previously while at Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI). Ostuni joined MSREI in 2001 and worked at its New York, Istanbul and Milan offices. Before joining QIA at the start of 2011 he was a vice president.

During Ostuni’s three years at QIA, in which he worked closely with global head of real estate Navid Chamdia, the sovereign wealth fund made a series of large investments in London and Italy including Porta Nuova, a €2 billion development by Hines in Milan earlier this year, and a £330 million ($526 million; €389 million) outlay for One Cabot Square, a large office in London’s Canary Wharf, last year. GreenOak will be aiming to leverage his experience working for the investor in both fund and direct investment situations.

GreenOak currently manages a portfolio in Europe with a gross valuation of approximately $1 billion for proprietary and third-party clients, and has positioned itself in selected markets like London as an operating partner for private capital, assuming functions including asset and property management as well as investment.

While the firm’s New York and Tokyo divisions have raised and deployed opportunistic real estate funds, in Europe it has invested to date on a deal-to-deal basis with a core group of capital partners. The firm has raised $1.2 billion in equity globally since its formation, one quarter of which has been for European deals.
PERE understands, however, that the firm is evaluating evolving its relationship with that core group of equity partners, potentially into some sort of club-like vehicle, although no details have been confirmed at this stage.

GreenOak and QIA declined to comment.