Cornerstone’s Europe lynchpin is Weeks
Iain Reid to be succeeded by longstanding colleague Charles Weeks on retirement
Charles Weeks is to take over as European CEO of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, one of the world’s largest real estate investment advisers with $33bn under management.
Weeks will succeed Iain Reid in the middle of March, when the 65-year-old retires, and will report to global CEO David Reilly. Weeks and Reid have worked together since 1995, when Reid was the CEO of BZW Property Investment Management. They then worked together in a series of different companies, including Barclays Property Investors, Aberdeen Property Investors, and Protego Real Estate Investors, which they sold to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company-owned Cornerstone two years ago.
The senior team at Cornerstone Europe, which has 55 staff and $2bn of assets under management, will remain unchanged but will take on new titles. Nick Pink will assume the role of chief investment officer, James Salmon will remain as chief operating officer, Alex Sutherland will become chief financial officer and Peter de Haas will become head of business development for continental Europe.
“Continuity in the business is a huge asset and it gives me particular pleasure to hand over responsibilities to Charles, who has been my close colleague and has worked together with me on all our successes, in different businesses for more than 16 years, without a break,” Reid told Property Week.
He is now looking for a strategic role at a firm that could take advantage of his experience of buying and selling fund management businesses.
Weeks said Cornerstone in the US was looking at Cornerstone Europe as the conduit for US capital to invest into “core” or “value-add” real estate opportunities in European markets, and, conversely, Cornerstone Europe would look at Cornerstone in the US for investment capital to Europe.
The process has already begun. Last year Weeks and his team secured European capital for Cornerstone US’s $1.8bn open-ended Cornerstone Patriot Fund and for two new closed-ended funds — one a debt fund with more than $500m of equity, the other a “value-add” property fund with $500m of equity.
In addition, Cornerstone Europe has secured two new mandates from a US investor making its European debut to buy multi-let light industrial properties and central London offices.
It is also close to securing US capital to lend money to UK investors for “high-quality, fixed-rate, commercial mortgage loans”.
Half of Cornerstone Europe’s assets are in the Nordic region, where it manages the Nordic Retail Fund. It is now aiming to create the Swedish Social Infrastructure Property Partnership to buy public sector assets.