Mr. fund of funds

Ian Gleeson, who oversaw Morley's international multi-manager service, has joined CBRE Investors to help grow the firm's platform.

Last month, Ian Gleeson joined CBRE Investors Global Multi-Manager business as its chief investment officer. Gleeson’s appointment, along with other recent hires, is a statement of intent by CBRE Investors in this developing part of the real estate industry.

It is bulking up staff numbers to offer a product catering to growing demand among investors for global property exposure as a way of diversifying investments and accessing regions offering higher returns.

In his new role, Gleeson told PERE he will be based out of London but will work closely with CBRE’s other multi manager offices in Boston and Singapore from where the firm will continue to add to investments and clients.

CBRE entered the fund of funds space in 2006 when it acquired Oxford Property Consultants, a UK company co-founded by Jeremy Plummer and Andrew Baum. It currently manages segregated accounts and three fund of funds investing in unlisted property funds and has $5 billion (€3.4 bn) of assets under management.

Historically, the investor base has been predominantly UK and European, but the firm is enlarging its team to attract clients in the US and Asia as well.

Gleeson says he was attracted to CBRE given the scale of its global platform and its pure focus on real estate. He added: “My role will also be more global in terms of investments.”

Gleeson’s hire was not the only one announced by CBRE, but it is the highest profile. He is well known in Europe for working with the European Association of Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) as chairman of the investor platform and was a member of INREV’s management board. He is currently part of the association’s working group reviewing investment style definitions. Prior to joining Morley, he helped set up the global property investment program at the Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund.

The other appointments are Scott Brown as Americas managing director, based in Boston. He was previously at Ennis Knupp and Associates, the US asset consulting firm. In addition, Stuart Savidge has joined as finance director in London from Prestbury Holdings, the private London-based property investment company of Nick Leaslau. The new hires follow that of Adrian Baker last year to head up Asia.

Plummer, managing director of CBRE Global Multi-Manager, said in a statement: “I believe we have built the strongest team in the real estate fund of funds industry.”

Schroders appoints Morgan Stanley pro
UK fund manager Schroders has appointed John Harding as business development director of property, reporting to Mike Clarke, head of property distribution. In the newly created role, the former Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds professional will work closely with Schroders’ sales and distribution teams across Europe, the US and Asia to help raise equity for Schroders’ specialist property products, the firm said. At MSREF he was responsible for equity raising for real estate funds within Europe. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was a portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs Realty Japan based in Tokyo.

Capmark team joins Evans Randall
Evans Randall, the London privately investment bank and private equity firm, has poached five people from San Mateo, California-headquartered property finance firm Capmark to form a new business called Evans Randall Capital Partners. The firm is establishing a €625 million ($984 million) mezzanine and preferred equity group to target leveraged property transactions and B note holders in the UK, Europe, the Gulf States and Asia. Andrew Haines, Capmark’s former head of UK and Europe lending in Capmark’s London office is leading the new group along with Sam Mellor. Duncan Elley, associate director, Leon Sodeyfi, associate, and Sarah-Kay Ritchie, executive assistant, complete the group.

Palatium founders reunite with Eurohypo
Palatium, the London-based private equity real estate firm launched by former Eurohypo property investment banking heads Paul Rivlin and Neil Lawson-May, has beefed up its team with the appointment of two former Eurohypo investment bankers. Keith Davidson and James Tarry were both with Eurohypo’s Real Estate Investment Banking division until 2007 and subsequently worked in Citigroup London-based real estate debt group. Davidson has been made a managing director at the firm, while Tarry becomes a director. News of the appointments comes as the company continues to recruit ahead of planned funds in the real estate debt arena. In July, the firm appointed Adam Shutkever, a former managing director with Deutsche Bank. Palatium was formed in April following the management buyout of Eurohypo Asset Management.

MSREF duo resign from Canary Wharf owner
Increased work commitments at Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds has forced Gabriela Gryger and Gavin MacDonald from the board of Songbird Estates. Two other bankers from Morgan Stanley have been proposed as replacements. They are Jonathan Lane and Johannes Groeller. Lane is chairman of EMEA Real Estate Investment Banking and a member of the investment committee of MSREF. Groeller is managing director in the European mergers and acquisition department. MacDonald was one of the first directors of Songbird following its takeover of London’s Canary Wharf in 2004 by Morgan Stanley and New York’s Glick family. He is head of global acquisitions and mergers and a vice chairman of Morgan Stanley Investment banking. Gryger was appointed to the board in 2006 and is active in the UK, Central and Eastern Europe investment divisions of MSREF, as well as its special situations fund.

Principle buys into Dawnay Day affiliate
A subsidiary of Swiss-based activist investor, Principle Capital Holdings, has acquired a 48 percent stake in the asset management company of Dawnay Day Sirius, as the unravelling of the troubled Dawnay Day group continues. The firm is buying the stake in Dawnay Day Sirius Real Estate Asset Management, which was originally set up as a joint venture between Dawnay Day, Kevin and Frank Oppenheim and the senior management of Dawnay Day Sirius Real Estate Asset Management.

ABP, Klépierre buy shopping center owner
Dutch pension fund ABP and BNP Paribas subsidiary Klépierre have acquired Norway’s shopping center owner for €2.7 billion ($4.2 billion). The investment is being carried out to bulk up its exposure to shopping centers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Steen & Strom, which is being sold by Stein Erik Hagen’s privately owned Norwegian investment company, Canica, owns 30 shopping centers. It also manages another 26 centers on behalf of third parties and has six malls under construction. It owns 18 centers in Norway, nine in Sweden and three in Denmark.

Apollo in talks with Capital & Regional
The European division of New York private equity real estate firm Apollo Real Estate Advisors has entered into talks to form a joint venture with the German business of UK property manager, Capital & Regional. Capital & Regional confirmed the talks last month. The company owns €668 million ($997 million) of German property assets, having entered the country in 2005. According to the company’s website, it owns a portfolio of 50 properties in Germany targeting mainly retail parks on the edges of German towns.

Citi, Gazit close €800m Meinl deal
Citi Property Investors and international development firm Gazit-Globe have closed a deal to invest €800 million ($1.2 billion) in Vienna-listed European developer Meinl European Land. Meinl will now be known as Atrium European Real Estate and will target the retail real estate markets of Central and Eastern Europe. The deal follows a surprise share buyback by Meinl last August. The decision to buy back 17 percent of its shares for €1.1 billion was done without shareholder approval and led to a loss of credibility and concerns about governance. The action sparked a strategic review of the company.

Qataris close in on Trillium
A consortium including the Qatari Investment Authority and London private property fund manager aAIM were reportedly close to sealing the acquisition of Land Securities’ Trillium property outsourcing company for around £1.1 billion (€1.3 billion; $2 billion) last month. The consortium is being advised by PCP Capital Partners, according to reports. The auction of Trillium, which was put up for sale last year, has attracted interest from various groups including Australia’s Macquarie Bank and Goldman Sachs. Land Securities has said it is also considering spinning off the company as part of a three-way demerger.