As part of its plan to expand into Europe, specifically Germany, Real Estate Capital Partners (RECAP) has hired a new managing director to oversee its German investment activities.
According to the New York-based real estate investment advisor, RECAP has named Thomas Etzel as managing director and head of strategy and business development. In this newly created post, Etzel will split his time between New York and Germany, leading the firm’s expansion into European real estate investments. In addition, he will chair RECAP’s newly formed management committee, driving the firm’s strategy and day-to-day operational activity, as well as serve on the executive committee.
Karin Shewer, founding partner of RECAP, told PERE that the hiring of Etzel is part of the firm’s plan to incrementally shift from being a US-focused firm to a global one. “One of the ideas is to expand RECAP’s base of business, which has invested in US real estate for the past 23 years, and invest in Germany,” she said. “In a few years, we plan to invest in Asia.”
Shewer added: “The long-term goal is to be a global real estate advisor. We’re making the strategic steps to achieve that goal.”
RECAP has set its sights on Germany for a number of reasons. In addition to the firm being largely German-owned and having a large number of German investors, the country has a healthy economy relative to the rest of Europe. Furthermore, Germany is seeing a good supply-demand balance in real estate.
“The market has changed in Germany,” Etzel told PERE. “Developers in Germany have started to team up with equity partners. The real estate market is very stable and generating a lot of interest from international investors.” In particular, he is seeing an increased demand for multifamily and retail properties in the country.
Etzel added that the firm already is in talks with a number of potential joint venture partners. In time, RECAP’s business goal will be to set up private equity real estate funds to invest in the region.
Prior to joining RECAP, Etzel served as managing director and head of alternative investments at BHF-Bank. There, he was responsible for more than 40 global real estate, private equity and mezzanine funds, as well as 15 residential and commercial real estate developments in Germany. Additionally, he sat on RECAP’s board of directors for approximately 20 years.
Meanwhile, RECAP has promoted two of its executives to join the management committee with Etzel. Paul Doocy has been promoted from executive vice president to chief investment officer, and Andre Kinney has been promoted to chief operating officer, while retaining his previous role as head of asset management. Shewer will assume the role of chairman of the RECAP board while continuing to focus on investor marketing, business development and strategic initiatives.
“Being more global is a focus we’ve had for a long time,” said Shewer. “The combination of our interest and the availability of [Etzel] allowed us to put our plan in action.”
Founded in 1989, RECAP has a staff of more than 60 professionals spread between offices in New York, Dallas, San Francisco and suburban Washington DC. The firm has invested more than $10 billion in US real estate on behalf of international investors.