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Mogull passes on Benson Elliot leadership role – Exclusive

Senior partner Trish Barrigan is to become the next managing partner of the London-based private equity real estate firm, effective January 1, 2018.   

Marc Mogull, one of European private equity real estate’s highest profile individuals, is passing on the day-to-day management of the firm he co-founded, PERE can reveal.

Mogull, who co-founded property fund management firm Benson Elliot in 2005, is handing over the reins as managing partner to Trish Barrigan (pictured), a senior partner and fellow co-founder.

From January 1, 2018, Mogull will assume the dual role of executive chairman and chief investment officer to focus on the firm’s investment program and relationships with its investors.

“The entire senior management team at Benson Elliot has earned its stripes through the ups and downs of the past decade, but it’s clear now, with the business on a sustained growth trajectory, that managing the firm and the funds, while simultaneously acting as CIO and fiduciary-in-chief, is too big a job for any individual,” said Mogull.

“Trish has been shouldering a progressively greater share of the management burden at Benson Elliot in recent years, and she’s done it with resourcefulness and efficiency. In doing so, she’s allowed me to focus my time on portfolio construction and oversight, investor engagement and strategic management of the business.”

Benson Elliot said Mogull’s relinquishment of management responsibilities was not an indication of diminished involvement at the firm and that his financial incentives would not change. There would also be no change in the key man provision set out in the documentation for the firm’s Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners fund series.

In fact, the firm already altered the key man provision of the series when it launched BEREP IV, its latest fund, for which it held a final closing last year on €640 million. Before that fund, Mogull was the sole key man. However, for BEREP IV, the provision was extended to include other members of the firm’s investment committee and senior partnership, including Barrigan.

BEREP IV is now approximately 70 percent invested, bringing the firm closer to the typical hurdle fund managers must pass before drawing up plans for a succession vehicle. It is understood that a similar key man provision will be in place for that and other future vehicles launched by the firm.

Barrigan told PERE: “It was important for our investors to realize we’d built up a team with breadth and depth and that shouldn’t be effected by any individual departure.”

According to Barrigan, the announcement of her promotion was a formalizing of a set-up that had in practice been in place for some time.

But she added: “Corporate governance continues to dictate that certain legal and compliance factors are still reported to Marc. Further, it was important that he becomes executive chairman as he still takes leadership of our overall strategies. He is not taking a backseat.”

Benson Elliot has raised more than €1.5 billion since inception for investments across European markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Central Europe and Scandinavia.