Grosvenor names new chief

The ascent of James Raynor is complete as the chief investment officer of Grosvenor Fund Management takes over the reins as chief executive.

Grosvenor Fund Management, the £5 billion (€5.8 billion; $7.5 billion) third-party asset management arm of British property company Grosvenor Group, has announced a major change at the top of the organisation.

James Raynor, the firm's London-based chief investment officer, is taking over as chief executive from current incumbent Jeffrey Weingarten, who has agreed to join the board of the Grosvenor Group as a non-executive director. Raynor and Weingarten take up their respective roles starting June 18.

The appointment means Raynor has reached the top of Grosvenor Fund Management less than a decade after joining. Before being hired by the firm, he spent seven years based in Paris as the Royal Bank of Scotland’s senior director of European real estate.

Mark Preston, chairman of Grosvenor Fund Management and chief executive of the Grosvenor Group, said in a statement that Raynor would “build on the growth strategy” put in place. “I’m very grateful to Jeffrey for his wise guidance of Grosvenor Fund Management over the past two years and am very pleased he is joining our main board,” added Preston.

In his opening salvo, Raynor said it was an exciting time for Grosvenor Fund Management. “We have a number of terrific new initiatives underway across our regions, which will build upon the investment strategies and skills that we have developed over time. We continue to believe that, as property specialists, we will be able to create good investment opportunities for our clients, as we have in 2012.”

Weingarten added that he is delighted to retain his connection with Grosvenor while handing over the reins in Grosvenor Fund Management.

Weingarten became chief executive in March 2011, having served as a former chief investment officer at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He already had been non-executive chairman of the fund management arm of Grosvenor since September 2010. At the time, he said the strategic direction of the company involved global expansion as it prepared to launch five new funds covering property markets in London, Washington DC, Japan, Continental Europe and the US.

One recent highlight is the creation of a joint venture in China with Harvest Real Estate Investments. That deal was struck in the second half of 2012 by Asia head Morgan Laughlin, who has since joined Pramerica Real Estate Investors as head of Asia Pacific.