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JER expands Latin America team

Less than a month after opening offices in Brazil and Mexico, the McLean, Virginia-based firm has appointed a former MIRA executive to assess the risks of investing in Latin American residential and commercial real estate.

JER Partners has appointed former MIRA Companies executive Ariel Amavizca as head of risk management in Latin America.

Amavizca, previously chief investment officer of private equity real estate firm MIRA Companies, an affiliate of the Black Creek Group, will be responsible for structuring, analyzing and managing risk aspects for all investments made in Latin America. He will be based in Mexico City.

The firm last month announced its expansion into Latin America, hiring Roberto Perroni to lead the Brazil office in Sao Paulo and Sergio Hernandez as the firm’s Mexico-based director. Perroni was formerly superintendent director of Brazilian development and investment firm, Camargo Corrêa Desenvolvimento Imobiliário. Hernandez was previously national sales director of GE Capital Solutions Mexico, developing GE’s commercial finance platform in the country.

Since joining the firm as president last October, Michael Pralle – former head of GE Real Estate for seven years – has set about expanding JER’s presence in emerging markets telling PERE 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 – to be published in the June issue of PERE magazine. “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.”

In a statement, Marcelo Horcel, managing director of JER’s Latin American investments said Amavizca would initially focus on residential and commercial investments. “His broad experience in the local real estate market, combined with his expertise in commercial property inspection, due diligence and risk analysis, will help JER further our global growth plans in Latin America,” Horcel added.

Prior to MIRA, Amavizca worked at GE Commercial Finance for eight years, where he spent his last three years as risk director for its Mexican real estate business.