JER appoints new compliance officer

The McLean, Virginia-based private equity real estate firm hires former Washington state securities enforcement lawyer to head risk monitoring group.

JER Companies has appointed Kristina Kneip, a former inspections consultant at ACA Compliance Group, as vice president and chief compliance officer.

Kneip, who was also a former enforcement attorney and chief of inspections for the Washington state securities division, will be responsible for the McLean, Virginia-based firm’s compliance with SEC regulations.  Kneip will be based in Virginia and report to Daniel Ward, head legal counsel.

In a statement, Ward said Kneip had been responsible for leading mock inspections of investment advisers, hedge funds and private equity funds at ACA.

Since the appointment of former head of GE Real Estate Michael Pralle as president last October, JER has steadily expanded its capital-raising and debt activities in particular. During the past three months, Pralle has hired a raft of professionals for its Latin America operations including former MIRA Companies executive Ariel Amavizca as head of risk management in Latin America. Amavizca was previously chief investment officer of MIRA, an affiliate of the private equity firm, Black Creek Group, and is responsible for structuring, analyzing and managing risk aspects for all investments made in Latin America.

During an exclusive interview with PERE magazine in June, Pralle said he wanted to create a capital-raising “machine” that would rival the likes of Tishman Speyer and The Carlyle Group.

“We are going to need to raise a significant amount of capital over [the] next few years given our strategic objectives,” he said during the interview. “We are building a professional capital-raising organization … In effect a capital-raising machine in the way that Tishman Speyer has today or Carlyle has today.”