M7 appoints Murnaghan as UK head

The London-based real estate investment and asset manager has followed the April hire of chief financial officer David Simmonds by promoting John Murnaghan, who has been head of UK asset management since August 2014, to head its UK operations. 

M7 Real Estate, the London-based real estate investment and asset manager, has appointed John Murnaghan to its board of directors where he will assume the position of head of business for the UK.

Murnaghan, who has more than 16 years of real estate experience, has been with M7 as head of UK asset management since August 2014. In his new role, he will oversee the firm’s UK portfolio and asset management strategy, develop the UK business plan and lead new business initiatives.

Prior to working at M7, Murnaghan worked for UBS Global Asset Management, the investment arm of Swiss banking giant UBS, where he was a director in the UK real estate team with direct responsibility for 30 assets, with a collective value of £500 million ($659 million; €587 million) across all sectors. Before UBS, he worked at UK real estate investment trust (REIT) Land Securities Trillium as senior asset manager, where he undertook strategic asset management for a portfolio of 335 properties

“John has been an integral part of the M7 team for over two years and in this period of time his extensive experience in the real estate sector has been a key part in the growth of our investments and business in the UK. We look forward to continuing our development with John at the helm of the UK business,” said Richard Croft, M7’s chief executive officer.

Since forming in 2009, M7 has steadily grown out a European operation opening offices throughout western and central Europe, but has really ramped up its growth over the last 12 months during which time it has increased its assets under management by 60 percent to €1.7 billion.

“I joined M7 during a tremendously busy growth period and since then we have expanded our operating platform both in the UK and across the continent, launched several new funds and most importantly, realized significant performance for our capital partners,” said Murnaghan.

“We will continue to expand our existing product lines, with a focus on our third party asset management offering given the experienced team and bespoke systems we have in place to assist in the management of higher yielding, multi-let regional real estate,” he added.

The hire is M7’s second in the last six months following the April recruitment of David Simmonds as chief financial officer. He joined from Australian firm APN Property Group where he had been finance director of its Australian Securities Exchange-listed Industria REIT since its IPO in December 2013.

In June, M7 held a final close of its third European investment fund, European Real Estate Investment Partners (EREIP) III on €125 million. The firm, which held a first close for the fund in March on €80 million, said it will have a total spending capacity of €300m. As of June, M7 has purchased €204 million worth of assets, with an average yield of 10.7 percent, through EREIP III.

M7’s current UK portfolio comprises over 200 estates, which covers more than 10.7 million square feet across all sectors.