PEOPLE: Man of the moment: David Pahl

GTIS Partners is saying “hallo” to commercial real estate and German investors with the addition of a senior investment professional at Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI).

David Pahl, who was a managing director who oversaw PREI’s North American investment funds, joined GTIS in July, along with former PREI colleagues Barry Howell and Thomas Baur. The trio will help GTIS, which manages $3.2 billion in assets, to broaden its commercial real estate investment activities, and to access German investors. Pahl will head GTIS’ new Atlanta office, where Howell will also be based, while Baur will stay in Munich.

Pahl also brings with him his relationships with German investors. As managing director at PREI, Pahl was responsible for US Property Funds series managed for German institutions.

“I’ve worked with David and his team for the past 20 years, on more than $1 billion of transactions,” Tom Shapiro, GTIS’ president and chief investment officer, told PERE. “His 25 years in the US commercial real estate investing industry, and his strong and consistent track record through many different market cycles, made him an obvious and easy choice.”

Pahl said he will continue to focus on commercial real estate, given its attraction for German investors, which view the US as a market with a high degree of transparency and liquidity, and where it is comparatively easy to execute real estate transactions compared with other markets globally. Pahl and his team will focus on value-added office properties and urban retail in gateway markets.

“We continue to see very interesting opportunities in the commercial markets,” he told PERE. “It’s much more about creating the value at the asset level, finding ways to increase the net income either by strategic property improvements, re-positioning the asset, or more efficiency on expenses.”

The hires of Pahl and his team and the opening of the new Atlanta office follows GTIS’ recruitment of AXA Real Estate Investment Managers’ Dietrich Heidtmann and the opening of a Paris office last September, adding “bonjour” to GTIS’ vocabulary, too.