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Milestone poaches RE head from SUN-AREA

The Mumbai-based fund manager has appointed Alok Aggarwal to head its real estate business in preparation for launching another property fund.

Mumbai-based fund manager Milestone Capital Advisors has poached Alok Aggarwal from SUN-AREA Property Partners to head its real estate investment team as the firm is preparing to launch an INR5 billion (€59 million; $81 million).

Aggarwal is filling a position vacated early last year by Ashish Joshi, who resigned to become chief executive of start-up domestic real estate fund manager Landmark Capital Advisors. Aggarwal will hold the title of managing director and chief executive for real estate and be responsible for all funds in real estate development, mezzanine and REIT-like structures for Milestone.

Aggarwal was most recently a director at SUN-AREA Property Partners, a joint venture between Ares Management & SUN Group with about $630 million of foreign funds under management. SUN-AREA was previously known as SUN-Apollo.

“Alok brings in more than 26 years of solid experience into the system,” Milestone director and vice chairman Rubi Arya said in a firm statement. “Having extensive principal level experience in deal sourcing, evaluation, closing & asset management across asset classes, he will infuse additional enthusiasm to our already well-performing funds.”

The new hire comes just as Milestone is finishing “the final cosmetic touches” ahead of the launch of its fourth domestic, blind-pool fund, for which it is targeting INR5 billion, Milestone executive director Navin Kumar told PERE. The firm should be ready to launch the fund within another month, he added.

“We are through our consolidation phase, and now we are looking to grow and take the next leap,” Kumar said. “So investors need to see someone with real estate experience heading up the investment business.”

Milestone has been primarily focused on realizing legacy investments over the past year, and has realized INR15 billion in exits in that time. The gross IRR Milestone is realizing from its eight onshore and offshore funds ranges between 18 percent and 24 percent now, Kumar added, and “at the investor level” it is between 14 percent and 16 percent.

The firm’s funds management business stalled in 2011 when founder Ved Prakash Arya was killed in a freak accident. It then began selling off its non-real estate businesses, including an approximately $2.6 million sale to Singapore’s Quadria Capital of its education and healthcare joint venture with Religare Enterprises, which was completed in March 2013.

Milestone currently has more than INR32 billion assets under management across 7 funds, and manages over 25 million square feet of real estate projects.