Apollo forms real estate opportunity team

The Leon Black-led firm has assembled a core group of real estate professionals from Barclays, Goldman Sachs and AREA Property Partners as it prepares to raise an opportunistic private equity real estate fund later this year.

Apollo Global Management, the New York-based private equity firm, has assembled a core real estate team from companies including Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital ahead of raising an opportunistic property fund, sister news site PrivateEquityRealEstate.com has reported.

The two most senior US real estate professionals are Scott Weiner and Ken Picache. Weiner has joined from Barclays Capital’s US real estate capital markets group, where he was a managing director responsible for large real estate loans and structured finance. Prior to that he was at Lehman Brothers.

Picache is a former professional at AREA Property Partners, previously named Apollo Real Estate Advisors. The founders of Apollo, including Leon Black, were the original backers of AREA, but by last year the two firms had no official affliation and the buyout firm's founders declared their intent to launch a branded real estate arm separate from AREA.

The other members of the team, according to those familiar with the firm, are Chris Lee, formerly at Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall funds; Jason Eisenberg, formerly at Lehman Brothers’ real estate private equity funds; and Tim Fuzesi, a former associate at Barrow Street Capital and Goldman Sachs. They have all joined in recent months.

Joe Azrack, president and chief executive of Apollo’s new real estate platform, joined from Citi Property Investors last year in order to build out the team and launch an opportunistic fund.

As PERE previously reported, the firm has also hired Jon Thompson to help lead the fundraising effort and investor relations functions. The former head of European client relations at RREEF is currently working in the London office from where Apollo investment staff are currently involved in buying real estate debt in European markets such as Germany on behalf of a European fund.