EUROPE NEWS: Man of the moment: Noel Manns

One of the most recognizable faces in the European real estate fund management industry, Noel Manns, is preparing to exit the firm that he co-founded, Europa Capital.

According to Europa, the succession process began six years ago, when Manns and co-founder Charles Graham were not named as key men when the firm’s fourth European-focused value-add fund was launched. They were not directly involved in the fifth fund either, allowing younger managers, such as Rob Sim, Nic Fox, Robert Martin, Jason Oram and Kevin D’Arcy, to take over.

The news of the senior management change, however, did not become public until one of Europa’s investors, San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System (SDCERS), published a document in mid-September that Graham and Manns were stepping down.

The document added that the co-founders would remain available to Europa if necessary until the end of March next year. It is understood that Manns will remain responsible for Europa’s mezzanine fund, launched in 2012.

Prior to co-founding Europa, Manns was at Richard Ellis (now part of CBRE) from 1981 to 1998, where he provided venture capital for real estate transactions and created and managed property funds for individual investors, raising over £300 million of equity capital in the process.

Aside from working for Europa, which was founded in 1995, Manns has roles within a number of organizations, many of which are related to the real estate sphere. He is chairman of the INREV fund manager advisory council, a member of The Investment Property Forum and a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He is also the trustee of two charities and it is this work that he is seemingly most looking forward to pursuing.

“If you want to create and grow a business, there can be a glass ceiling unless some of the older guys move aside,” Manns said. “I’ve had a wonderful, lucky time but now I have the opportunity to spend more time focusing on some of the charity work I’m involved in.”