UBS vet joins Metropolitan Real Estate

Following the promotion of four executives, the New York-based real estate multi-manager has hired Douglas Lee to head up its sales, marketing and investor relations efforts.

As part of its response to the continued growth of its global business, Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management has appointed the former head of real estate fundraising at UBS to lead its client-related activities.

A statement from Metropolitan reveals that Douglas Lee has joined the New York-based global real estate multi-manager as a managing director. In the newly created position, he will lead the ‘client-facing’ groups within the firm, which includes sales, marketing, investor relations and public relations.

Prior to Lee joining Metropolitan, client-related activities primarily were handled by co-chief investment officers David Sherman and Margaret McKnight. Lee also was hired in part because of his experience working with large pension plans with $10 billion to $50 billion in assets.

Sherman, who also is the firm’s president, said in a statement that the hiring of Lee “will enable us to broaden our capital-raising efforts and support the firm’s growth in the years ahead.”
Lee’s hire is tied to Metropolitan's new initiative to work with larger pension plans on single-investor vehicles. While Lee will work with all of Metropolitan's clients, he will be focused primarily on the larger pensions.

Prior to joining Metropolitan, Lee was a managing director and head of real estate private equity fundraising at global financial giant UBS. There, he was responsible for the origination and execution of private capital raising assignments for leading real estate investment firms around the world. 

Before that role, Lee served as the chief operating officer of the global real estate investment banking group and as a senior client coverage officer at UBS. Prior to joining UBS, he was a vice president at Goldman Sachs, where he worked in the real estate and financial sponsors groups.

The announcement of Lee’s hiring immediately follows the news of Metropolitan promoting four senior executives. McKnight, a managing director based in the firm’s San Francisco office, was appointed co-chief investment officer, a role that she now shares with Sherman, who previously was the sole CIO. 

Metropolitan also promoted Beth-Anne Flynn, Jeremy Ford and John So to partner roles. Flynn, who is based in the firm’s Boston office, is responsible for business development and client services and has helped to broaden Metropolitan’s client relationships, both among institutions and high-net-worth individuals. Ford and So head the firm’s operations in Europe and Asia, respectively. 

Metropolitan was founded in 2002 and currently manages more than $2.5 billion in capital from clients that include more than 150 institutional and high-net-worth investors. The firm currently is raising its latest global real estate fund of funds, Metropolitan Real Estate Global VI, which held a first close of $24.5 million in July, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It also is in the market with a North America-focused real estate fund of funds, Metropolitan Real Estate Partners IX, which had closed on nearly $5 million as of September.

Additional reporting by Evelyn Lee