HarbourVest Partners may be described as one of the longest established and most respected players in the fund of funds business but it doesn't mean the Boston-based firm is resting on its laurels.
In a bid to broaden its global alternatives investments – which already includes venture, buyout, mezzanine debt and distressed debt – HarbourVest has announced plans to expand into real estate fund investments.
It was, as HarbourVest senior managing director Kevin Delbridge said, a natural extension of the firm's approach and a “continuation” of HarbourVest's development in the field.
“Throughout our history, we have continued to evolve — identifying and evaluating new opportunities around the world, gaining invaluable expertise and developing a strong network of sought-after partners along the way,” he added.
And to that end, the firm has lured former Composition Capital Partners managing director Randy Parker to help grow the asset class.
Parker was managing director at the Dutch fund of funds firm, spearheading Composition's expansion into North and Latin America from a recently opened office in Boston. At the time, Composition said it wanted to establish itself as the “Americas fund of funds.”
In 2007, Parker said the growth of real estate funds had presented institutional investors with a difficult choice. “It's becoming increasingly difficult … to keep track of all the different choices. [Fund of funds are] a way to provide and add value for investors looking at a broader array of real estate managers and a way to spread risk across a wider spectrum.”
Composition Capital was primarily targeting Europe and Asia before opening its office in Boston. Parker had been enticed away from Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners, where he was a senior managing director responsible for capital formation, investor relations and investment strategy, to serve at Composition. Prior to Beacon, where he also served as chairman of the investment committee, he spent eight years at AEW Capital Management, responsible for real estate investments for institutional investors valued at more than $500 million.
HarbourVest founder and senior managing director Ed Kane said Parker's 20 years of experience in the industry would help build the foundations for his firm's expansion. “He will be a tremendous addition to our talented, experienced and cohesive team.”
Parker has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Pension Real Estate Association and the Association of Foreign Investment in Real Estate.
Perseus hires Fidelity exec
Washington-based real estate investment firm Perseus Realty Capital has appointed former Fidelity Management senior investment officer Loren Balsam to its investment team. Balsam was hired by Perseus president Paul Dougherty to source investments for the firm's opportunistic vehicles. He was appointed as managing director and a senior member of the investment team. A former senior investment officer with Fidelity Management's private equity real estate group for 12 years, Balsam was previously a real estate workout consultant at E&Y Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group.
Citi lures Flexner from Bear
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Irish firm appoints new US head
Dublin-based Claret Capital has lured Joseph Fox from Pitcairn Properties and opened a second US office as it builds its real estate platform. Fox has been appointed global head of real estate after joining from Pitcairn, where he was executive vice president of investments. Prior to that, he worked as a senior vice president for property services firm, Richard Ellis. In a statement the firm said Fox would be based in Philadelphia, its second US office. It's first office opened in New York office in January this year.
ING promotes former SVP
Brian Watkins, former senior vice president at ING Clarion, is taking on a new post as director in the firm's acquisition group, according to reports. Watkins was previously senior vice president in ING Clarion's acquisition group. He joined the firm in 1996 and has worked in asset management and acquisitions at ING, managing an acquisitions team responsible for the South and Midwest regions of the US, as well as New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.