JER Partners has set up an office to take advantage of opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe and has poached three senior GE Real Estate directors to spearhead the investment drive.

The US private equity fund manager has appointed Karim Habra as managing director, Christopher Zeuner as director and Petr Kosar as vice president. The three will be based in Prague, Czech Republic and will launch the new office this autumn.

Habra was previously managing director of GE Real Estate Central & Eastern Europe and managed its operations across the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania and Russia.

He also led GE Real Estate’s entrance into new markets in the CEE and has been involved in more than 80 retail, office, industrial and residential deals totalling more than $3bn (£1.7bn) as well as the purchase of four non-performing loan portfolios.

Zeuner joined GE Real Estate 2004 and was involved in deals totalling more than $2bn (£1.1bn) and prior to working at GE was head of Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets team in Poland.

Kosar joined GE Capital in 2002, working in the United States and the UK and joined GE Real Estate in 2004 where he was responsible for the management and closing of 10transactions with a value of more than $750m (£422m).

JER will target investment in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey and Czech Republic.

Malcolm Le May, JER president, said: ‘This is a dynamic and pivotal time in JER’s history. We are in the midst of a significant period of accelerated growth with an expanded reach and greater diversity of investment vehicles.

'We are confident Karim, Chris and Petr will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. I am pleased to welcome them to our team.’