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West to leave Park Madison

The co-founder of the New York-based placement firm is departing to take on a new role with a Los Angeles-based investment company.

After more than eight years, Suzanne West is parting ways with Park Madison Partners, the New York-based capital raising and advisory firm that she launched with fellow founding partner Nancy Lashine, PERE has learned. She will be leaving the placement agent business and taking on a capital formation and investment position with Los Angeles-based AVP Advisors, a private real estate investment firm that advises institutional investors seeking access to emerging managers.

In an email sent to industry professionals earlier this week, and seen by PERE, Lashine announced West’s impending departure. She noted that West will continue to work with Park Madison as an advisor, but she is relocating out of New York for her new role with AVP.

Lashine did not provide further details in the email on West’s new position, but PERE understands that West will be serving as one of four managing principals at AVP, along with Barry Chase, who is responsible for overseeing the company’s investment activities; Mark Albertson, who is involved in capital formation and investments; and Amy Ko, who also serves as chief financial officer and is in charge of the firm’s finance, accounting, reporting and corporate operations. AVP, which currently has approximately $400 million of assets under management, also is expected to recruit an additional senior investment professional in the near future.

West officially will join AVP on August 1 and will focus on capital formation; helping to source emerging managers for the firm’s clients; working with Chase on developing AVP’s overall growth strategy; and actively mentoring emerging managers on institutional best practices. The firm, whose current capital-raising platform includes an existing fund of funds and a number of co-investment vehicles, also is said to be launching a new club vehicle shortly.

West’s new position will mark the latest transition in her 20-year-plus career in real estate. She got her start with the State of Connecticut Trust Funds, working for seven years as an investment officer within the real estate group. West was involved in managing the pension plan’s real estate equity and commercial mortgage portfolios and ultimately co-headed the group.

She also held senior positions in portfolio management at the O’Connor Group and in new business development, private equity capital sourcing and investor relations for real estate companies such as Acadia Realty, DRA Advisors and Aetos Capital. In 2006, West co-founded Park Madison, where she was involved in raising more than $6 billion of equity for the firm’s real estate clients, with a particular focus on working with emerging managers.