Two Sigma Real Estate, CBRE GI, Generali Real Estate, Hammerson, St Modwen, Sera Global, Countrywide, Crest Nicholson, Matter Real Estate, Knight Frank, Cohen & Steers, Rivercrown, AXA IM Alts

Generali Real EstatePierre-David Baylac has been appointed to lead its logistics business in Europe. In his newly created role, Baylac will be pivotal to increase the Generali Real Estate logistics portfolio in Europe, ensuring solid origination and strong transaction volume in the main European logistic hubs, while developing the current logistic portfolio already comprising several assets in France and in Italy. Before joining Generali Real Estate, he spent 10 years at CBRE Global Investors as head of logistics Europe, and fund manager of the four funds dedicated to logistics. He previously served as country manager France at Goodman, and previously was fund manager of the logistic fund at AEW. He is based in Paris.

Hammerson – The retail-focused real estate investment trust has appointed Himanshu Raja as CFO and executive director. He will succeed James Lenton who gave notice of his resignation to the company in January. Raja was most recently CFO at Countrywide, from 2017 until its sale to Connells last month. Prior to that, he had served as CFO at G4S, Misys and Logica. His previous roles have seen Himanshu work across a range of sectors, developing extensive experience in transformation and debt and equity markets. Harry Badham has been appointed to the role of chief development and asset repositioning officer. In this role, Badham will oversee the development teams working on destination repositioning across the UK, Ireland, and France. Badham, was most recently UK head of development at AXA IM Alts. Prior to his 10 years at AXA IM Alts, Badham was part of the leadership team at property development company Allied London, where he was investment director. He began his career at JLL within the corporate finance department.

Two Sigma – Rich Gomel has joined the company’s newly launched real estate arm as managing director and CIO and Drew Conway has been appointed as head of data science. Gomel recently served as managing partner of WeWork’s real estate investment platform. Tom Hill will serve as CEO of Two Sigma Real Estate, in addition to his role as chairman of Two Sigma’s private investment business. 

Knight Frank – The global property consultancy firm has launched a capital advisory arm and appointed Birju Shah to head up the new division. Knight Frank Capital Advisory division comprises a recently formed equity advisory team to work in tandem with the firm’s existing debt advisory function, headed up by Lisa Attenborough. Shah has previously held Principal positions at Kleinwort Benson, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. More recently Shah was head of corporate advisory at Cairn Capital, where he acted for large private equity funds, real estate companies and debt investors. Shah is joined at Knight Frank by Emma Winning, who has been appointed as partner in the equity advisory team. Winning has previously held roles at Deutsche Bank and Argent Related.

St ModwenAndrew Dobson has been appointed senior director – strategic land and planning to support the ongoing development of major residential schemes and drive future initiatives. In this role, Dobson will focus on identifying and promoting sites to develop as the company continues to bring forward strategic land across the UK that will ultimately feed its St Modwen Homes and St Modwen logistics businesses. He joins from Crest Nicholson, where he spent almost seven years, most recently as managing director of its strategic projects division. Rob Williams has been promoted to become managing director, major projects, while Janine Parker and Dinny Shaw take on the roles of customer and community director and planning director respectively.

Sera GlobalMichael Yang has joined the global independent real assets advisor as partner and will help lead the liquidity solutions/secondaries practice. His appointment follows Kilian Toms’ appointment in March as partner in Sera’s liquidity solutions/secondary practice in EMEA. In these newly created roles, Yang and Toms will be responsible for advising managers across North American and EMEA markets seeking to recapitalise portfolios and create liquidity through fund restructurings, asset spinouts or privately negotiated secondary investments. Prior to joining Sera, Yang served as executive director and VP at Goldman Sachs asset management, where he focused on real estate investments across primaries, secondaries and co-investments. Prior to Goldman, he led real estate advisory at NEPC and held a variety of roles across direct investments at GID Investment Advisors, AEW Capital Management, and UBS Investment Bank.

Cohen & Steers – The company, which manages $48bn (€39.9bn) in listed real estate securities, has rehired its former real estate CIO to manage a new private real estate team. James S Corl, who left Cohen & Steers in 2008 to head up the real estate business at Sigular Guff, has returned to the fold as head of private real estate. Corl oversaw four opportunistic real estate funds at Siguler Guff, investing $3bn of capital. At Cohen & Steers, he is joined by Hamid Tabib, head of real estate acquisitions for North America, who was also on the real estate team at Siguler Guff. Josh Silverman, previously at Northwood Investors, has also joined as principal, acquisitions, and Jon Rhoden, previously at Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Real Estate group, is now a senior associate at the firm.

Rivercrown – The real estate investment and advisory firm has appointed  Alessandra Bovina as senior analyst to its debt investment management team. Bovina joins from Make Shift and will support with the servicing of Rivercrown’s existing mandates including its €250m annual allocation mandate with a Sovereign Wealth Fund. She will also support with the origination, underwriting, execution and loan asset management of real estate debt opportunities in the UK and Europe. Bovina has previously held positions at Mediobanca and Unicredit Bank.

Commerz Real – Gabriele Volz has resigned as CEO of Commerz Real after less than a year in the position due to “a difference of opinions”. She will be replaced by Henning Koch, who has been a member of the board of management with responsibility for transactions and asset management since April 2020. Commerz Real said Volz submitted an offer to the supervisory board to terminate her employment relationship by mutual consent. Koch, who joined the company in 2017 from Credit Suisse to lead a newly created transaction division, will begin his new role on 1 May, taking over from Volz, whose appointment as a member of the board of Commerz Real ends on 30 April. Koch will also become the chairman of the management of Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft. Siegfried Eschen has been appointed member of Commerz Real’s board of management. Subject to approval by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, he will exercise this mandate from 1 June onwards. He is joining the company from Commerzbank, where he has developed and headed the real estate competence centre within the corporate clients segment since 2015. Before his time in the corporate clients segment he worked at Hypothekenbank Frankfurt, formerly Eurohypo AG, ultimately as divisional head central Germany/international key accounts.

Hollis – The independent real estate consultant has appointed Marije Van Der Straaten as senior consultant to their Amsterdam office. Van Der Straaten joins Hollis’ growing environmental consultancy responsible for advising on corporate merger, divestment and acquisition transactions, as well as the delivery of environmental due diligence services across Europe. She has more than 18 years’ experience managing a number of key environmental engineering projects across the UAE and the Netherlands. Most recently, she spent five years overseeing environmental permit compliance related projects and conducting environmental due diligence for Ramboll, a leading engineering, architecture and consultancy company.