Our client is a US-headquartered global real estate private equity firm, with a sizeable portion of its business in Europe. The head of the European business, a long-serving partner of the firm, was refocusing on raising and managing a global value add product, and we were tasked with finding a replacement to work alongside him in the London office. The role was to lead a team of over 50 professionals across multiple European offices, and help the business to grow AUM in Europe to match the size of its businesses in the US and in Asia.
The first part of the process was ensuring that all the stakeholders, in both Europe and the US, were on the same page about what they were looking for. It was crucial that we managed the relationship with the incumbent sensitively – he would have to work very closely with the new hire and the messaging was very important. We sought out candidates with strong Western European experience, but the key differentiator was leadership and management skills. These were carefully referenced with former managers, with former subordinates, and with counterparties on deals.
Despite a substantial buyback offer from his previous employer, the way that we and our client had presented the opportunity was compelling enough to convince the preferred candidate to move. He has a strong track record of investing across the European market, as well as leading and restructuring pan-European real estate teams.