Ric Lewis, former chief executive of Curzon Global Partners and chief investment officer of AEW Europe, has left the firm to set up Tristan Capital Partners.

Tristan Capital Partners will invest in the UK and Continental Europe, and will also work in a joint venture with AEW on two funds with total assets under management of €2.2bn.

Ric Lewis, Chief Executive of Tristan Capital Partners said: ‘Very significant investment opportunities are opening up across Europe due to the dislocation in the real estate markets caused by the credit crunch and the following economic crisis. The opportunities that arise in the next few years will be the best for the past 20 years.

‘Tristan will have the opportunity to continue to work closely with my old firm AEW Europe in a joint venture for two funds with combined gross assets under management of €2.2 bn. This means I will maintain tight links with the AEW team and our institutional investor clients in these vehicles.’

Tristan Capital Partners will be the sub-advisor and executive portfolio manager for AEW Europe’s European Property Investors (EPI), which raised €769m in equity capital in 2004 and completed its investment at the end of 2007, and European Property Investors Special Opportunities (EPISO) funds, which raised €788m in 2008 and is now buying.

Lewis said: ‘I intend that Tristan will be among the market leaders in capitalising on the unique chances resulting from the wholesale restructuring underway in the European real estate industry.’

Lewis, who joined AEW in the 1980s, set up Curzon Global Partners as AEW’s European partner in 1999. Curzon was re-branded as AEW Europe last year.