JER Partners’ chief executive officer, Barden Gale, has quit the company, PERE can reveal.
Gale departed the McLean, Virginia–based private equity real estate firm “very recently”, confirmed Michael McGillis, the company’s managing director and chief financial officer, who declined to elaborate further.
According to sources PERE has spoken with, Gale had made up his mind to pursue other opportunities as long ago as October – three months before the passing of JER’s visionary founder, Joseph Robert, who died in December following a two-year battle with a form of cancer. A subsequent note by Gale was sent to associates on 15 December advising of his new contact details in the week following Robert’s death, and he is thought to have left the company at the end of the year.
Gale joined JER in 2009 as its first new chief executive officer in 28 years to replace Robert in that capacity. He was hired from Starwood Capital Group where he was vice chairman of real estate. Prior to that, he was chief investment officer for real estate for ABP Investment US, the investment arm of Dutch pension fund, Stichting Pensioenfonds.
His departure is thought to be linked to the way JER Partners is becoming a smaller platform now that the European side to the business is being transferred to Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management. That move leaves JER to focus on its home US territory where it still has significant assets under management.
It is unclear whether the firm will seek a new chief executive officer. Senior figures who continue to lead the company include McGillis, who joined approximately six years ago, and JER veterans Keith Belcher and Daniel Ward, who have been with the company for more than 20 years.