LaSalle hires AREA’s Zehner

The Chicago-based real estate investment management firm has appointed Jon Zehner, formerly a senior director at AREA Property Partners, to a new role to help expand the global franchise.

LaSalle Investment Management, the Chicago-based real estate investment management giant, is poised to announce the hiring of AREA Property Partners senior director Jon Zehner for a newly created position to help grow the global franchise.

LaSalle, which has $47.7 billion in assets under management in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, has appointed Zehner as head of global capital markets based in London, from where he will work directly with global chief executive officer Jeff Jacobson. Zehner also will become a member of LaSalle’s global management committee.

The high-level appointment is an important part of LaSalle’s continued growth plan. When he joins in March, Zehner will be responsible for global activities relating to capital raising, new product development, merchant banking and large scale, cross-border strategic investments with partners.

Zehner is seen within LaSalle as having the right experience to be able to aide global investors that appear to be demanding an ever-increasing level of sophistication, customised solutions and ideas from real estate managers, such as co-investment, club and joint venture deals. LaSalle told its 700-strong staff yesterday of the appointment, and the firm is set to make an announcement as early as tomorrow.

Zehner joined AREA in 2009, having gained experience in property at JPMorgan Chase, where his career spanned some 28 years. He held a variety of positions at the New York-based investment bank, including global head of real estate investment banking and head of sub-Saharan Africa. He also was a co-founder of the European Public Real Estate Association.

It is the most senior appointment in recent times at LaSalle in terms of client-facing professionals. Last October, Chris Brett was hired from parent company Jones Lang LaSalle for the newly created post of European head of strategic partnerships, working closely with LaSalle’s existing global client services team to focus on the needs of major institutional investors.