PREI loses RE debt executives

The founders of the Madison, NJ-based real estate investment manager’s global debt funds platform have left to launch a new commercial real estate business at another firm. 

The head of the global real estate finance business at Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), along with two other executives, has departed after five years at the firm. The trio have joined Pine River Capital Management to start up a commercial property business at the company.

In an announcement today, Two Harbors Investment Corporation, a New York-based real estate investment trust that is managed by Pine River, said that it is planning to make an initial allocation of approximately $500 million of equity to a commercial real estate initiative in conjunction with the hiring of the PREI executives. Two Harbors currently focuses on investing, financing and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and related investments.

Jack Taylor, former head of PREI’s global real estate finance group, now will serve as global head of commercial real estate of the new platform. Meanwhile, Stephen Alpart and Steven Plust, formerly managing directors at PREI, will serve as managing directors.

Taylor, Alpart and Plust together joined PREI in 2009 to establish its global real estate finance group. As global head, Taylor was responsible for strategic planning, product development, client relations and the group’s investment activities, while Alpart and Plust were portfolio managers responsible for investment activities.

To date, the group has raised multiple real estate funds, including the $805 million Prudential US Real Estate Debt Fund in 2012 and the $800 million Pramerica Real Estate Capital 1 Fund in 2011. Most recently, the team raised $366.7 million for Pramerica Real Estate Capital V (Netherlands), which seeks to make junior debt and preferred capital investments backed by commercial real estate assets located in the Netherlands, with a partial allocation to Belgium. The majority of capital in the vehicle was provided by APG Asset Management, the Dutch pension administrator.

The move to Pine River marks the second time that Taylor and Plust have exited a firm to establish a new real estate business together. Prior to PREI, the two executives previously worked at Five Mile Capital Partners, a Stamford, Connecticut-based investment manager where Taylor was a partner and portfolio manager for its flagship fund and Plust was a managing director. Alpart, meanwhile, served as a managing director at Capmark Investments, a Horsham, Pennsylvania-based commercial real estate finance company, before joining PREI.

In an email to PERE, a PREI spokesman stated: “The US real estate debt platform continues to be an important part of PREI's global debt business. We remain committed to serving our clients, managing our investments prudently and continuing to grow the platform.”