Metropolitan expands senior roles to reflect global focus

The New York-based real estate multi-manager has named a new co-chief investment officer and three new partners as the firm expands its international reach.

Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management has promoted four senior executives in response to the continued global growth of the firm’s business.

Margaret Gipe McKnight, a managing director based in Metropolitan’s San Francisco office, has been appointed co-chief investment officer, a role that she will share with David Sherman, who is president and previously was the sole chief investment officer.

The responsibilities of the CIO position have grown as international markets have become more significant as both a source of real estate investments and capital. As co-CIO, McKnight will focus on the US market, which will allow Sherman to concentrate on overseas markets, as well as the firm’s overall global investment strategy.

In recent years, McKnight has taken on increasing responsibilities as part of the firm’s ten-member investment team. In addition to sourcing and underwriting US managers, she also has been in charge of selecting target investment strategies in the US and assembling domestic investment portfolios.

Metropolitan also has promoted three other executives – Beth-Anne Flynn, Jeremy Ford and John So – to partner. Flynn, who is based in the firm’s Boston office, is responsible for business development and client services and has helped to broaden Metropolitan’s client relationships, both among institutions and high-net-worth individuals.

Meanwhile, Ford and So head the firm’s operations in Europe and Asia, respectively. Ford, who is based in London, has led a major expansion of Metropolitan’s network of fund managers in Europe, building several key new relationships in the region. So opened the firm’s Hong Kong office last year and has added several new relationships in Asia, while also raising the multi-manager’s profile in the region.

The firm currently is raising its latest global real estate fund of funds, Metropolitan Real Estate Global VI, which held a first close of $24.5 million in July, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It also is in the market with a North America-focused real estate fund of funds, Metropolitan Real Estate Partners IX, which had closed on nearly $5 million as of September, SEC filings said.

Metropolitan, which Sherman co-founded in 2002 with managing directors T. Robert Burke and David Nasaw, currently manages more than $2.5 billion in capital from clients that include more than 150 institutional and high-net-worth investors. The firm has 44 employees in offices in New York, San Francisco, Boston, London and Hong Kong.