Barden Gale is to replace Joseph E Robert as CEO of JE Robert Companies.

Gale, who joins the firm from Starwood Capital Group where he served as vice chairman of real estate, will begin in mid-July and be based in McLean, Virginia.

Robert - JER’s founder – who has been chairman and CEO of the real estate investment management firm since 1981, will become executive chairman.

He will work with Gale over corporate strategy and in building relationships with investors and business partners, the company said.

Gale’s appointment follows a busy period of senior personnel changes at JER.

It lost Malcolm Le May, its European head of opportunity fund manager JER Partners in January.

His replacement, Michael Pralle, quit three months later for personal reasons.

The departures followed the exodus of Angus Dodd, James Bury and Marc de Chassey.

Prior to Starwood, Gale was CIO for real estate at ABP Investment US, the investment arm of pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and was an investment banker for Salomon Brothers and Nesbitt Burns Securities.

He is also co-chair of the real estate investor advisory council of NAREIT, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Joseph E Robert said: ‘Barden is a top executive whose experience through the various real estate cycles, combined with his international experience, makes him a tremendous asset to JER today and in the future.’