Starwood appoints new RE vice chair

The Connecticut-based private real estate investment firm has hired former ABP chief investment officer of real estate to join the firm’s headquarters in Connecticut.

Starwood Capital Group has hired Barden Gale as vice chairman of real estate. In this newly created position, Gale will work with Starwood senior executives on the firm’s investment strategy and new business opportunities.

Prior to joining Starwood, Gale was chief investment officer for real estate at ABP Investment US, Inc., the investment arm of pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP. ABP’s private equity investments are managed by Amsterdam-based AlpInvest. While at ABP, Gale oversaw a global portfolio valued at more than €20 billion ($29 billion).

Before his career at ABP, Gale was an investment banker with Nesbitt Burns Securities, Inc. and Salomon Brothers, Inc. in London and also served as a principal in a development company with investments in New York City and New Jersey. Gale also worked as a practicing attorney.

“We are so pleased to add someone with Barden’s track record and extensive international investing experience to our strong executive team,” Barry Sternlicht, Starwood chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “From his days helping lead Salomon Brothers' European real estate investment banking team to his time overseeing the global portfolio at ABP, Barden has built a tremendous track record identifying and capitalizing on attractive investment opportunities.”

Gale currently serves on the board of directors for the Pension Real Estate Association and is a member of the property investment committee of National Pension Reserve Fund of Ireland. He has a BA from Union College, a MA from the University of London and a JD from Columbia University.

Starwood closed its seventh fund in 2005, with total equity commitments of approximately $1.5 billion. The vehicle focuses on investments in undervalued real estate and real estate-related assets and operating companies across all property types, including senior housing, residential, retail, office, hotel and land acquisition.