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Advanced Capital hires UBS heavyweight

The Italian alternatives firm – one of Southern Europe’s earliest international private equity fund of funds operators – has hired Seth Lieberman to head up its new global real estate platform.

Advanced Capital, the Italy-based alternative asset manager founded by Robert Tomei, has made a big splash into the private equity real estate fund of funds business with a heavyweight hire to run the platform.

Advanced Capital, which invests in private equity, real estate, credit markets and art, has recruited Seth Lieberman, a long-time European real estate expert most recently at UBS.

Lieberman is charged with identifying investment opportunities globally and will divide his time between Milan, where the firm is headquartered, and London where a new presence has recently been established.

Advanced Capital was one of the first investment companies in Southern Europe to introduce an international private equity fund of funds. It currently manages three globally-focused private equity funds that invest globally.

The real estate fund of funds business was launched in November last year in response to opportunities opening up across the world.

Not only is Lieberman chief investment officer of the vehicle, but of all real estate investments at the firm.

AC Real Estate is one of the first fund of funds that will be investing globally in real estate private equity funds. In a statement, the firm said the aim of the new fund, leveraging Lieberman’s knowledge of global real estate markets, is to profit from the “distressed opportunities in mature markets”, such as the US and Europe, as well as from opportunities in markets characterized by strong demographic and industrial growth.

Lieberman has been a real estate professional for 24 year in the US and Europe, where he has spent the last 13 years. In the late 1990s, he was a principal of the Praedium Funds, a group of opportunistic property investment funds associated with Credit Suisse First Boston. He has also worked at Lehman Brothers and Hypo Real Estate.  

Tomei said: “Due to the current global financial crisis, Advanced Capital sees significant opportunities for investments in property markets and [Lieberman’s] in-depth knowledge of the industry and considerable transaction experience will enable us to significantly enhance our capabilities in this attractive sector.”

Lieberman said: “Recession vintage years have provided experienced investors the opportunity to earn excellent returns in real estate private equity.  I am really pleased to have the opportunity to join the Advanced Capital organization and lead the private equity real estate program.”