UNITED STATES - Several former executives RREEF North America are hooking up with Stockbridge Capital Group in September in a bid to build an operation rivaling their former employer.

Steve Steppe, former chairman of RREEF’s North America operations will be working with Sol Raso, previously managing director of client relations, Dwight Merriman managing director in RREEF’s acquisitions division to help establish a separate account business at Stockbridge.

More specifically, the new team hopes to build commingled funds similar to RREEF America REIT II core and RREEF America REIT III value-added pooled funds – a move which is expected to gain major assistance from the former RREEF employees’ arrival as they worked with some of the largest pension funds is the US.

Stockbridge is also planning on creating its own development group to build joint ventures with local operating partners in markets around the United States.

Stockbridge is currently in the market to raise in the region of $2bn (€1.5bn) to $3bn for its Stockbridge Real Estate Fund III commingled offering.

One of its newest investor commitments is from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System, which is investing either an amount equal to 25% of the committed capital of the fund or $200m as well as supplying another $200m for co-investment opportunities the commingled fund makes with its limited partners.

Stockbridge has already been in talks with several major US pension funds about investing some capital into Real Estate Fund III, including CalPERS, CalSTRS, Wisconsin State Investment Board and New York Common Retirement Fund.

Stockbridge is marketing Real Estate Fund III as an opportunity fund with typical leverage of around 20% IRRs and investing in a variety of property types, including office, residential, retail, hotels as well as mixed-use buildings with a component of office, retail, and-or residential.