PREI finalises high yield debt platform

The real estate arm of insurance firm Prudential has hired Jack Taylor, Steven Plust and Stephen Alpart as it builds its debt investment operations. Taylor will be head of PREI's global high yield debt business.

Prudential Real Estate Investors has hired former Five Mile Capital Partners veteran Jack Taylor to lead its high yield debt investment activities globally.

Taylor has been joined by Five Mile colleague and managing director Steven Plust and Stephen Alpart, previously managing director and co-head of opportunistic lending in the debt funds business at Capmark Investments.

In January, Paramount Private Equity founders Andrew Radkiewicz and Andrew Macland joined PREI as managing directors to build its real estate mezzanine platform in Europe. They were accompanied by Mathew Crowther and Brian Scally, both from Paramount. The London team will report to Taylor.

In a statement, PREI chief executive officer Allen Smith said current market conditions in the US and Europe had created a “dramatic shortage of debt capital … offering significant investment opportunities.”

PREI is expected to start investing in debt through its current opportunity funds, and will also consider dedicated debt funds. A spokeswoman for the firm said the strategy would initially be rolled out in Europe, particularly in the UK and Germany, followed by the US.

Taylor added in the statement that the “historic dislocation unfolding in the real estate debt markets, resulting in a capital constrained and secularly deleveraging environment, has created an enduring opportunity … to participate in attractive debt investments”.

Taylor, who joins PREI as managing director and head of the firm's global high yield debt operations, was previously a partner at Five Mile Capital and portfolio manager of its Structured Income Fund. He was previously co-head of real estate investment banking for the Americas and Europe at UBS, and also led the real estate group at Paine Webber.

Before Five Mile, Plust was an executive director at UBS and a managing director at PaineWebber involved in commercial real estate debt businesses. Prior to Capmark, Alpart was a managing director in the merchant banking division of GMAC Commercial Mortgage.