Nick Cooper, a senior member of The Townsend Group that helped grow the business in both Europe and Asia, has left the consultant to become deputy chairman of London-based Palmer Capital.
One of The Townsend Group’s most senior figures in Europe has left to become the deputy chairman of London-based private equity real estate firm Palmer Capital. Nick Cooper began his new role at Palmer on Monday, having served Townsend for nearly four years in both the UK and the US and overseen the development of the consultant’s European and Asian businesses.
The firm that Cooper has joined is a London-based real estate investment and asset management group, which wants him to oversee the growth of its business. He will help advise and manage Palmer on its nine UK property companies in which it is a shareholder and boost its investment relations team. The firm has £550 million (€688 million; $904 million) of discretionary assets under management in both listed and unlisted real estate funds and employs 90 staff in eight countries, including the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic and The Netherlands, with the majority being in the UK.
Prior to joining Townsend in May 2010, Cooper was a senior member of ING Real Estate, particularly known for being chief executive officer of the Dutch group’s multi-manager arm called ING Real Estate Select, which he helped build up over 10 years. He is well known in European real estate fund circles, having also served as chairman of the Association of Real Estate Funds in the UK, an industry group open to fund managers and others involved in the property industry.
Alex Price, chief executive at Palmer Capital, said in a statement: “Nick was the first investor into our first fund over 10 years ago. We know him well and respect his ability to help shape and grow our business. He will provide more senior leadership to match the recent expansion of our overall business.”
Ray Palmer, chairman of the group, added: “Palmer Capital has grown substantially over the last few years. We have completed one of the largest public to private deals in the quoted property sector, been part of the purchasing group for two of the UK's largest science parks and delivered returns to investors well above the IPD index. I am delighted that we have managed to persuade one of the industry’s most senior fund managers and a longstanding friend of the business to join us at this exciting time.”