Starwood recruits ex-Deutsche Bank exec to head new infra lending business

Armin Rothauser will lead the private equity firm’s new platform, which will focus on transportation, infrastructure and energy financing.

Starwood Capital Group has appointed Armin Rothauser, a former managing director and co-head of structured credit at Deutsche Bank, to lead the Miami-based firm’s “latest endeavour” – an infrastructure-focused lending business.

Rothauser, who is joining Starwood in January, will serve on the investment committee of both Starwood Property Trust and its recently acquired GE Capital Project Finance Debt Business. According to a statement, the firm’s “latest endeavour” will focus on transportation, infrastructure and energy lending.

It is unclear how the new platform will fit into Starwood’s existing business, since Starwood Property Trust already focuses on infrastructure lending. The firm declined to comment on Rothauser’s appointment or its new financing division.

Before joining Deutsche Bank, Rothauser worked for six years as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, leading its global hard asset class trading business.

The Miami-based private equity firm manages around $56 billion in assets and is primarily focused on the real estate sector. It also manages Starwood Energy, a subsidiary that focuses on energy infrastructure.

Last July, Starwood Energy, headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, closed its third and largest infrastructure fund to date on about $1.2 billion, slightly below its $1.5 billion hard-cap. Starwood Energy Infrastructure III will invest in power and transmission assets and other projects “in energy-constrained markets” in North America, according to a statement.

Starwood’s energy subsidiary is led by Himanshu Saxena, who was promoted to the position in November 2017, the same month the firm announced it had acquired Ares Management’s stake in a 1.2GW portfolio of coal-fired power plants in the US.