Harrison Street hires Barings exec for Europe IR – Exclusive

In addition to the newly-created role, the firm held an interim closing for its second Europe-focused fund.

Harrison Street Real Estate Capital is looking to broaden its investor base in Europe and the Middle East through its first European head of investor relations, PERE has learned.

The Chicago-based firm started raising capital for its European strategy in 2015, opening a London office the same year, PERE previously reported. Harrison Street corralled €235 million for Harrison Street European Property Partners I against a €200 million target in its first Europe fundraising effort in 2016, according to PERE data.

Now, Harrison Street, which focuses on education, healthcare and storage real estate, has tapped Albert Yang as head of investor relations, Europe. Yang is tasked with broadening the firm’s investor base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Harrison Street’s Europe and US strategies.

Yang, who starts Tuesday, joins Harrison Street from Barings Real Estate, where he worked from September 2015 until last month as a client portfolio managing overseeing institutional investors in Europe and the Middle East. He previously spent nearly four years at JP Morgan Asset Management, where he was an executive director of global real assets, responsible for investor relations in EMEA.

Yang will work out of the firm’s London office and report to Geoff Regnery, the firm’s global head of investor relations. PERE understands that Harrison Street plans to further build out its EMEA investor relations team because it has seen more investor interest from those regions.

“As Harrison Street’s platform continues to expand globally, Albert’s deep relationships with the global investment community and experience raising capital across the risk spectrum – from core to opportunistic real estate strategies – will significantly enhance our capabilities in Europe,” Regnery said in a statement.

Harrison Street is currently raising and investing its second opportunistic Europe-focused fund, which launched in October, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm declined to comment on fundraising.

PERE understands the firm has raised €300 million in an interim close on Monday for Harrison Street European Property Partners II. The firm is looking to pull in €400 million-€500 million and expects to close the vehicle in the second half of the year, a source with knowledge of the process said. One investor is Swedish pension fund Första AP-fonden, which committed SKr 189 million ($22.5 million; €18.3 million), according to pension documents.

Most recently in Europe, the firm announced an expansion of its 2015 Ireland joint venture with student housing developer GSA Investment Management. Last month, Harrison Street said the JV would invest €225 million in two student housing developments in Dublin and another two in Cork, adding 1,325 beds to the partners’ current 1,000 beds in Dublin.

Harrison Street oversees $13.7 billion in assets under management, according to a statement. In the US, the firm closed its sixth opportunistic fund in June at its $950 million hard-cap and brought in $205 million in co-investment capital, PERE previously reported. The firm also runs an open-ended core fund, Harrison Street Core Property Fund, which launched in 2011.