JER to become global capital-raising ‘machine’

JER president and chief operating officer Michael Pralle tells PERE the McLean, Virginia-based firm will rival the likes of Tishman Speyer and Carlyle in terms of capital raised for real estate funds and deals.

The private equity firm JER Partners will become a capital-raising “machine” that will rival the likes of Tishman Speyer and The Carlyle Group, according to president and chief operating officer Michael Pralle.

In an exclusive interview with PERE – to be featured in the June issue of our magazine – Pralle, former president of GE Real Estate, said he intends to build the McLean, Virginia-based firm into a global brand, with plans to triple the firm’s assets under management within five years.

JER Partners, the private equity arm of real estate firm, JER Companies, has already opened offices in Brazil and Mexico as part of its global expansion plans. The firm has hired Roberto Perroni, a former executive with Brazilian development firm Camargo Corrêa Desenvolvimento Imobiliário, to direct its Brazil operations and former GE Capital Solutions executive Sergio Hernandez to lead its activities in Mexico.

Within the past four months, Pralle has actively sought to build JER’s presence, appointing Dwight Arnesen, a former Starwood Capital Group managing director, to lead its US distressed deals and Jim Green and Mark Chamieh to develop  JER’s capital-raising team.  Green was former global head of marketing at Citigroup Property Investors while Chamieh was head of global business development at UBS Global Asset Management.

In the interview, Pralle said he planned to build JER as a leader in the emerging markets field, adding that the 27-year-old firm would significantly expand its capital-raising operations as a result.

“We are going to need to raise a significant amount of capital over [the] next few years given our strategic objectives,” he explained, saying the firm would ultimately rival the likes of Tishman Speyer and Carlyle.

“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 the interview with PERE, Pralle talks about the reasons he left GE Real Estate, his views on the current real estate market and his vision for JER Partners and its parent company, JER Companies. For more information on subscribing to PERE magazine, click here.