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Mikulich, others out at Apollo

The New York-based private equity giant’s North America head of real estate and other members of its North America real estate team have left or will be leaving the firm after struggling to raise capital for its US real estate fund.

Raymond Mikulich, the head of North America real estate investments at Apollo Global Management, has left the company, a spokesman has confirmed. PERE understands that Joe Azrack, managing partner and global head of Apollo’s real estate platform, will be assuming Mikulich’s responsibilities. Mikulich, the former co-head of Lehman Brothers’ real estate investment business, joined the firm in September 2008.

Jon Thompson, a principal who was responsible for marketing Apollo’s AGRE US Real Estate Fund, also will be leaving the company, although he has agreed to stay on as a consultant through March, according to sources familiar with the matter. Thompson was hired in April 2009 to help raise capital and handle investor functions for the fund. He previously was a managing director and head of European client relations at RREEF, the alternative asset management division of Deutsche Bank.

Apollo also has made additional cuts to its 15-member North America real estate team, including some in its Los Angeles office, although it was unclear how many others have or will be departing the company. The spokesman declined comment on the exits of Thompson and others.

The departures of Mikulich and others on the North America real estate team come at a time when Apollo has had difficulties attracting capital for its US real estate fund. Indeed, PERE understands that the reason for the downsizing was that the amount of capital raised for the fund so far did not warrant the size of the team that the firm had assembled.

Filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that the fund, which launched last year and is targeting $650 million in base capital commitments, had raised a total of $385 million – including $135 million in base commitments and $250 million through a co-investment vehicle – as of 30 September. Sources said the total base capital raised for AGRE US Real Estate Fund remains unchanged.