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Valad Europe hires Klein as head of equity – Exclusive

One of the best known names in the European real estate fund placement business is to take up her new role at the London-based firm’s Mayfair office at the beginning of June. 

Audrey Klein, the former senior managing director at real estate fund manager Aerium, has been appointed as head of equity at real estate investment manager Valad Europe where it understood she will be tasked with raising capital for the European business and discretionary capital in Europe, Middle East and Asia. 

PERE reported in January this year that Klein was leaving her role at Aerium to “pursue other opportunities.” She spent just over a year at the firm, where she was also head of global fundraising and business development, after joining in early January 2015.

She moved to Aerium in 2014 after previously working at Park Hill Real Estate, the capital raising subsidiary of The Blackstone Group where she founded the firm’s European business in 2006. At Park Hill, she acted as managing principal, establishing more than 200 investor relationships across continental Europe for the company.

Incidentally, Blackstone, Klein’s previous employer, and Valad, her current employer, share a history: in January 2015, the New York-based private equity giant sold Valad Europe to Brisbane-based investment house Cromwell Property Group in one of the most eagerly anticipated corporate level transactions in Europe at the time.

“Valad have got some very talented people who have been doing a lot of good deals these past couple of years. They’ve got some real momentum going and they’ve got a great chief executive officer (CEO), David Kirkby. It has a bunch of good things waiting to happen and happening already. I’ve known the CEO quite a long time because he was also at Blackstone,” Klein said after announcing her new role at Valad Europe.

“I have 15 years’ experience of fundraising worldwide and at every step of the process, from the documentation and the various nuts and bolts part of the business to having relationships in the major continents where the fundraising takes place, from the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” she added.

Klein confirmed that the deals she will working on will employ value-add, core and core-plus strategies in the industrial, office and retail sectors, areas in which she has specialized throughout her career.

Prior to Park Hill, she spent five years running Caskar Partners in Munich, marketing alternative asset classes including private equity, real estate and hedge funds. She began her career at Bank of America in San Francisco working on syndication across various sectors before co-founding a real estate fund for the group together with Boston Capital.

Klein’s recruitment is the second major people move for Valad Europe in less than a year. Last July, the firm promoted Claire Treacy, the firm’s head of tax and risk, to chief financial officer. Treacy replaced Fraser Kennedy, who had left to join Kennedy Wilson Europe.

The firm currently has assets under management of €4.7 billion, according to its website.