Knight Frank, Mitheridge, CenterSquare, Lothbury, Blackstone, LaSalle, Commerz Real, CBRE, Marvin F Poer, Ellandi, BlackRock, RDI REIT, Empiric Student Property

Lothbury Investment Management – Simon Marx has been appointed as head of research at the boutique UK real estate investment manager. Marx brings a wealth of experience having spent 21 years in the industry in various research and strategy leadership roles at companies as diverse as CBRE, Close Investments, CoStar, Experian and Ernst & Young. For the last eleven years, he was managing director of European research and strategy at LaSalle Investment Management. Marx is chair of the Investment Property Forum’s research steering group, a visiting research fellow at Henley Business School, the University of Reading, and an industry advisory board member for the real estate group at Bayes Business School. In his new role, Marx will lead Lothbury’s research function and will be responsible for framing the outlook for the economy, as well as the real estate occupier and capital markets. In addition, he will be working alongside the senior directors to help develop fund strategies and will also be working closely with the investor relations team to attract new capital from all parts of the world. 

CenterSquare - Scott Crowe has been appointed president of the real estate investment management firm. Prior to joining CenterSquare, he was CIO of liquid alternatives at Resource Real Estate where he built and led a global investment and distribution platform. Prior thereto, Crowe was the lead global portfolio manager for Cohen & Steers. Prior to this, Crowe held the position of head of global real estate for UBS equities research. Crowe has served as chief investment strategist since 2015 and will continue to report CenterSquare CEO and CIO E Todd Briddell. He sits on the firm’s investment and product development committees and has oversight for risk management, ESG integration and thought leadership. Crowe is also a member of CenterSquare’s board of directors. 

BlackRock – Daigo Hirai has been appointed managing director at BlackRock’s real estate business in Japan. Hirai’s primary responsibilities include managing the team’s day-to-day operations and leading deal-sourcing activities in Japan. Hirai joins BlackRock following a 12-year tenure at Blackstone, where he most recently held the role of managing director based in their Tokyo office. Prior to Blackstone, he served at the real estate private equity group of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Realty.

Commerz Real – Florian Obermaier has assumed responsibility for product management institutional clients at Commerz Real. Obermaier is joining the company from BMO Real Estate Partners (now Columbia Threadneedle Investment), where for the past six years he has been responsible for the fund and asset management for special assets with the investment focus on residential properties, and where he ultimately held the position of director fund management. Prior to this, he worked as an asset manager at Wertgrund Asset Management. In his new role at Commerz Real, he will take care of the further development of the product portfolio for institutional investors and the expansion of the mandate business. He is also joining the management of Commerz Real capital management company.  

Mitheridge – Robert Chevis has been appointed development director. Most recently, Chevis was project director at Londonewcastle where he oversaw the delivery of Whitechapel Estate and the reconstruction of Whiteleys Shopping Centre in Westminster. Prior to 2017, he focused on the construction delivery of private residential units in Queens Park Palace and worked in partnership with Linkcity and Brent Council on a residential-led regeneration scheme. Before working for Londonewcastle, Chevis held development management positions at Hadley Group and Brookfield Properties where he worked on mixed-use development schemes. In his new role, Chevis will be responsible for leading several of Mitheridge’s real estate projects. 

Empiric Student PropertyDonald Grant has been appointed chief financial and sustainability officer designate and executive director of the company. Grant was CFO at RDI REIT from 2015 to 2022. Prior to this, he was head of finance at Liberty International from 2008. Two years later, when the business was de-merged, he moved with Capital & Counties Properties as its group financial controller. Previously, he was head of financial and regulatory control for Europe and Asia at Cantor Fitzgerald LP and BGC Partners. Early in his career, Grant spent eight years in senior finance roles most notably with ABN Amro Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston. His appointment as executive director will be effective from 12 September 2022 and, following a handover period to ensure an orderly transition, Grant will replace Lynne Fennah, who, as announced, has decided to step down from her role to pursue other interests

Redevco – The European real estate investment manager has appointed Jonathan Cole as transaction manager. Cole joins from Ellandi where he was investment director. He will report directly to Tom Hoye and will be part of Redevco’s global transaction management team, headed by Adam Starr. Cole will focus on the UK where Redevco particularly seeks to secure more large-scale repurposing opportunities with potential for significant additional residential use. In addition, he will work on all existing mandates, support on divestments, source for new strategies and look for deal-led JV opportunities for existing and new partners.

Knight Frank – The independent global property consultancy firm has appointed James Orchard as partner. Orchard joins Knight Frank from CBRE, where he worked as a senior director for six years. Before this, between 2006-2016 Orchard for Colliers International, focused on the delivery of high-profile refurbishment and fit-out projects across the UK. In his new role, he will leverage his expert knowledge at Knight Frank to build the team’s capacity to advise clients on each stage of complex projects, from pre-acquisition due diligence through to the execution of value-add strategies and disposal. He will work closely with Craig Frost, Knight Frank’s head of project management, and Charles Ingram Evans, head of project and building consultancy at Knight Frank, to advise clients on all aspects of property and asset management, including sustainable refurbishment, tenant engagement and smart enablement.

CBRE – Kristie Moruzzi has been appointed as senior client account executive of the valuation and advisory services team. Moruzzi joins from Marvin F Poer and Company, where she has gained extensive experience in the minimisation of client tax liability since 2004. In her new role, Moruzzi will serve the greater New York City area and provide property tax consulting services to real estate firms based in the region.