LaSalle Investment Management is searching for a new chief executive officer for the Americas following a decision by Peter Schaff to step back from the business in what amounts to the most significant senior executive change at the firm since global chief investment officer, Jack Chandler, left in 2011 to join BlackRock.
Schaff has decided to step down as Americas CEO in a role that encompasses being head of LaSalle’s North America private equity business following a career spanning 28 years at the Chicago-based firm.
He oversees LaSalle’s private equity activities in Canada, Mexico and the US. He also serves on the firm’s global management committee and its North America private equity investment and allocation committees.
According to a note sent to investors by LaSalle’s global CEO, Jeff Jacobson, Schaff has decided step down in order to pursue personal investing as well as interests with not-for-profit organisations.
In a lengthy transition process, he will become chairman of LaSalle’s North American business at the beginning of 2013 focussing on select clients and investment relationships for the rest of the year.
In the investor note, Jacobson said the significant ‘lead-time’ allowed the firm to have a thoughtful transition process. He said “We are carefully considering internal and external candidates for the North America CEO position in order to identify the best leader to take the firm forward.”
Jacobson told clients: “It is with mixed emotions that I announce Peter Schaff’s decision to step down as our North America Private Equity CEO at the end of this year. After a lengthy and very successful career at LaSalle, he has determined that over the next 18 months he wants to move away from the leadership of a large scale investment business and devote more time to personal investing interests as well as not-for-profit organizations. With this in mind, Peter will transition to a new North America Chairman role at the beginning of 2013, focusing for the duration of that year on select client relationships and investment mandates.”
He added: “As a long-time colleague and friend, I respect Peter’s decision to try something different. The firm is grateful for the leadership, integrity and investment insight he has provided to our clients and colleagues during his 28 years with LaSalle Investment Management – including 11 years as our North America CEO. We look forward to continuing to benefit from Peter’s knowledge and experience in his new role as North America Chairman starting next year.”