RREEF reduces US opportunistic team

The real estate investment business of Deutsche Bank’s asset management division has continued to downsize its US opportunistic investments group in recent weeks, as the firm focuses more on investing in Europe

RREEF Real Estate, which has been scaling down its US opportunistic investments team, recently has undergone further staff reductions, according to sources familiar with the matter. The real estate investment firm – with opportunistic teams in London and New York – instead is stepping up its focus on opportunistic investments in Europe, which is said to be a growing and increasingly important part of RREEF’s business.

The downsizing is unrelated to the impending sale of RREEF, one of the businesses of Deutsche Alternative Asset Management that were put on the block late last year. Deutsche Bank announced yesterday it is in exclusive talks with Guggenheim Partners over the sale of the asset management businesses, which include RREEF Real Estate.

The staff reductions include the resignation of a director and two cuts involving junior positions – a vice president and an associate vice president. A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment on the departures, but she stressed: “We remain very committed to our opportunistic business in the US, which remains a critical part of our business strategy.”

PERE understands that RREEF’s opportunistic business in the US, which was formed in 2003, historically has been relatively small. During its peak in 2006 and 2007, the New York-based US team included 12 to 15 staff. Since then, however, the team has been shrunk through a combination of layoffs and departures and currently stands at about three to five people following the most recent reductions. The remaining staff has been charged primarily with managing RREEF’s existing opportunistic real estate assets.

For more on this, please read the full story in PERE’s March issue.