LaSalle hires Carlyle executive – Exclusive

The Chicago-based real estate investment management firm has hired a new client capital co-head as it looks to expand its value-add, opportunistic and debt businesses.

LaSalle Investment Management, the Chicago-based global real estate investment manager has hired Alok Gaur, managing director and partner at Carlyle, as co-head of its client capital group. He will be joining the firm on July 18.

Gaur, who will be based in LaSalle's Chicago headquarters, will lead the firm's client capital group with Jon Zehner, who is based in London and had acted as the group's sole global head since 2012. The 35-person group is focused on capital raising, branding and public relations. Gaur will report to LaSalle global chief executive Jeff Jacobson and together with Zehner, will drive new business development, investor relationships and product development globally.

In an interview with PERE , Jacobson said that hiring Gaur had a lot to do with where LaSalle was looking to grow and expand. “An area we're putting more emphasis is the value-add, opportunistic and debt part of the business,” he said, adding that the firm currently is in market or about to go to market with five of its flagship funds in those strategies. “We have a lot of those capabilities already, but now is the time to really push and expand those capabilities, and in areas to date where we don't have big presence.”

For example, in North America, LaSalle has lacked a debt investment team and has been relatively conservative with its value-add business. The firm also has not been very active in the opportunistic space in Europe, he added.

Jacobson also noted that Gaur's hire would give the firm's client capital group more depth in North America by having a co-head at the firm's global and regional headquarters: “We wanted to have leaders for both EMEA in London and in Chicago for the deepest capital market in the world in terms of fund investors. We wanted to have that balance, both geographically and in terms of skills, bandwidth.”

Said Zehner: “Alok is an important and strategic addition to our team. His experience across all strategies, particularly in the value-add and opportunistic space, and the depth of his relationships make him the perfect fit for LaSalle as we continue to identify opportunities for investors across the globe.”

Gaur, who left Carlyle last week, had been with the private equity firm since March 2011, focusing on investor relations in global real estate. Before Carlyle, he spent a year at Greenhill, where he was a principal with the real estate capital advisory group. He had moved to Greenhill with the majority of the real estate private fund group at Credit Suisse, where he had been for five years. At Credit Suisse, Gaur was a director and involved in a variety of capital raising activities for funds and ventures pursuing various real estate investment strategies in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Earlier, he held positions at The John Buck Company and Coopers & Lybrand.

Gaur's departure from Carlyle follows that of Douglas Kinney, a former managing director who joined the Chicago office of Bentall Kennedy as executive vice president of client relations and product development in early May. Gaur and Kinney previously worked together at Greenhill and Credit Suisse.