Related hires AREA’s Jacobsson

The New York-based developer and investment firm has brought on AREA Property Partners’ former North American opportunistic head as part of its senior management team.

John Jacobsson, a former partner at New York’s AREA Property Partners, officially joined Related Companies today as executive vice president. In a newly created post, he will lead the firm’s capital markets activities in the US and internationally, as well as work on new investments for the company and its funds business. Jacobsson, known informally as Jake, reports directly to Related CEO Jeff Blau.

“Jake has been a friend and business partner of Related for more than 20 years, and we are pleased to welcome him to the Related team,” said Blau in a statement.  “He possesses a rare combination of experience and talent that covers a broad spectrum from real estate development and investment to funds management to capital formation.”

Jacobsson comes on board at a time when Related has been expanding its development business internationally while also growing its fund management platform. However, “there’s no help that Related needs from me on the development side,” he told PERE.  Where he could add the most value to Related, he said, was building upon the firm’s capital relationships.

Before joining Related, Jacobsson had spent virtually his entire career at AREA, joining the firm – then known as Apollo Real Estate Advisors – at its launch in 1993. He served as a partner and head of its North America opportunity funds business, overseeing the firm’s opportunistic investments in the US and Mexico, until the end of 2011. Jacobsson spent all of 2012 and the early part of this year on his own independent business, working with operating partners on individual real estate investment transactions.  He began talks with Related about the new post over the last couple of months.

Jacobsson’s relationship with Related dates back to the start of his career. He first met Related chairman Stephen Ross in 1991 at his first job as a member of the acquisitions team at Trammel Crow Ventures, which was then working on a potential investment with Related. 

After Jacobsson joined Apollo Real Estate Advisors – whose chairman and founder, William Mack, has known Ross for years – in May 1993, the new firm began working with Related on investments that the latter company had sourced and for which it needed capital partners. Meanwhile, Related became one of Apollo’s first operating partners, famously teaming up on the development of the Time Warner Center, a 2.8 million-square-foot mixed-used property in New York that opened in 2003.