Rockwood co-founder steps back – Exclusive

As Peter Falco steps into an advisory role, the New York firm also hired a JPMorgan executive as global head of client strategy in a push to expand its investor base globally.

Rockwood Capital co-founder Peter Falco is stepping back from his leadership role, taking on a strategic advisor role instead, PERE has learned.

The senior managing director will become senior advisor next month as part of a long-planned succession strategy. Falco, whose various leadership positions at New York-based Rockwood have included client strategies, portfolio management and debt capital markets, will continue in a strategic role and step back from certain “day-to-day” facets of the business, he told PERE

“You get into the business because you love real estate and the assets, then you start spending a little more time in fundraising and the management of the business. Now, I’ll be working a bit more on the strategic level,” Falco said.

Alexia Gottschalch

Managing partner Tyson Skillings will assume the client outreach portion of Falco’s current role, and the firm hired Alexia Gottschalch as global head of client strategy. Gottschalch was previously the head of business development and client strategy in the Americas for JPMorgan Asset Management’s real assets division. She joined the firm in August 2015 from Grosvenor Fund Management, where she was global head of capital markets. A spokesman for JPMorgan could not be reached for comment on her departure.

Gottschalch will work out of Rockwood’s headquarters and report to Skillings. “One thing we’ve been working on is growing the client relations or investor side of our business, spending more time globally in Asia and Europe, as well as focusing on our domestic outreach,” Skillings said. “Alexia brings tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm to the global client strategy role that we have created for her. With what she’s done in the past, she’s going to be helping us with increasing and expanding our investor reach as we strive to meet the needs of current investors and introduce ourselves to new investors.” 

Tyson Skillings
Credit: Matt Greenslade/

The firm’s investor base includes public and private pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, fund of funds, high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

Falco said Rockwood’s management team has long thought about succession planning, starting when one co-founder, Neil Smith, thought about retirement a decade ago. Rather than sell the company, Rockwood’s team has sought to preserve private ownership and pass on the business to its next round of leaders. In addition, its strategies have a long horizon: commingled funds run between nine and 10 years, while separate accounts are 15-20 years.

“Any investor is looking for not an individual to rely on, but for a full team,” Falco said. “The investors want to know that succession is well thought out and well planned. In talking with our investors, this is seen as a very natural progression.”

Falco said his tenure as a strategic advisor is undetermined, but will last “a number of years.”

The firm manages about $9.4 billion of assets. In January, Rockwood closed its latest value-added fund, Rockwood Capital Real Estate Partners Fund X, on its $1.1 billion hard-cap, PERE previously reported