Terra Firma dealmaker joins Corestate as CEO

Phillip Burns is joining Zug, Switzerland-based private equity real estate firm, Corestate Capital, having worked at Guy Hands’ firm for eight years.

Phillip Burns, a financial managing director at Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma, is joining Corestate Capital as chief executive officer.


Burns, who joined Terra Firma in 2002, will join in mid-February and will be primarily based in Corestate’s head office in Zug, Switzerland, although he will split his time between other offices in London, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.


It is one of the few examples of a mainstream private equity investment professional taking up a senior position at a real estate investor and asset manager.


Burns has a track record in property. Having joined Terra Firma at the time of its spin out from Japanese bank Nomura, he got involved in German residential real estate investments, notably Deutsche Annington Immobilien Group, which Terra Firma bought for €2.25 billion in 2000.


He then led Deutsche Annington’s acquisition of Vittera in 2005 to create Germany’s largest residential landlord. The firm exited the investment when Terra Firma Capital Partners I sold its 82.5 percent stake to the specially created Terra Firma Deutsche Annington fund.


Corestate founder Ralph Winter said the new hire had a strong track record in value–added transactions and would oversee the next stage in the company’s growth.


In a statement, Burns added: “I believe there will be substantial opportunities to extract value throughout the next investment cycle in both direct and indirect real estate transactions.”