Hines has hired Antonio Ferreira as managing director and the new country head for Hines Brazil, effective July 4. He succeeds longtime Brazil head Douglas Munro, who stepped down last fall over Hines Brazil’s alleged impropriety relating to leases with embattled state oil company Petrobras, which currently is at the center of a corruption scandal in the Latin American country.
Ferreira will join Hines from GP Investments, a Latin America-focused alternative investment firm in São Paulo, where he has served as managing director of real estate for the past five years. GP declined to comment on Ferreira’s departure. Before GP, he spent 16 years with Gafisa, one of the largest homebuilders in Brazil, in a range of positions, including construction manager, development manager, new market director and development officer.
“We look forward to continuing our diversified and successful approach in Brazil under Ferreira’s strong leadership,” said Hines chief executive of South America Kevin Shannahan. “We have a fantastic team of more than 120 seasoned real estate professionals who have been integral to our past success in Brazil. We look forward to placing significantly more capital in this dynamic country as we actively work to bring deals in our pipeline to fruition.”
“We are confident that Antonio will build on our standards of excellence in Brazil and continue to contribute to the strong global brand that Hines investors have come to expect,” added Hines president and chief executive Jeff Hines.
Ferreira is only the second Brazil country head for Hines, which entered the market in 1998. Munro was hired that same year to open Hines’ office in São Paulo and was responsible for establishing and building the firm’s operations in the country.
Last July, the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported Hines Brazil had allegedly made improper payments totaling R$1.4 million, or approximately $700,000, in the form of real estate commissions paid to a broker in connection with office leases with Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro between 2004 and 2009. Hines subsequently began an internal review of the transactions, during which time Munro resigned. The internal audit later confirmed some impropriety with the commission payments.
In 2014, Petrobras publicly disclosed that it was the subject of a probe called ‘Lava Jato Operation’ (Operation Car Wash) by the Brazilian federal police.
Hines Brazil currently has $1.9 billion of assets under management in the country’s industrial, residential and office sectors. In partnership with local residential developer Tecnisa, the firm recently struck its largest Brazilian acquisition to date, with a co-investment in Jardim das Perdizes, a massive mixed-use project in São Paulo with residential, office, retail and hotel components. Hines Brazil also recently acquired a 244-unit condominium development project spanning four buildings in the Vila Mariana neighborhood of São Paulo.
Hines, founded in 1957, has a global footprint spanning 182 cities in 20 countries. The firm currently manages $89.1 billion of assets, including $42.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $46.6 billion for which it provides third-party property-level services.