AMERICAS NEWS: Top of the rock

Citi Property Investors has seen the departure of another seasoned professional - global head of marketing and client relations John Bottomley. Bottomley has joined New York's Rockefeller Group. PERE June 2009

Following the cancellation of its second Asia real estate fund, Citi Property Investors has repositioned itself increasingly towards fund management and away from fundraising.

With fundraising markets almost frozen, it is a strategy commonly being employed by many institutional real estate platforms. The decision led to various changes at CPI, including the departure of Asia Pacific investments head David Schaefer and the cancellation of the firm's second Asia real estate fund.

Rockefeller Center, New York

Now CPI has lost another seasoned professional from its ranks – John Bottomley, global head of CPI's institutional and high-net-worth client group. Bottomley joined New York-based real estate investment firm The Rockefeller Group on 18 May. He is believed to be working alongside Dennis Irvin, president and chief executive officer of Rockefeller's investment management arm. Irvin, who is spearheading Rockefeller's push into raising real estate funds, was unavailable for comment at press time.

The departure was described as extremely “amicable” by CPI president and chief executive officer Roger Orf, who said Bottomley had helped grow CPI's fundraising efforts since the firm's inception in 2004.

“John has done a great job for us in helping us get started in our fundraising efforts. John felt it was time for him to move on and we wish him all the best in his future,” Orf said. Bottomley was managing director and global product specialist for CPI institutional and high-net-worth marketing and client relations. During his career at Citi, he also worked for Citi's capital markets and banking division, Citi Private Bank and Travelers Insurance.

Bottomley was instrumental in helping CPI raise its two largest funds, the €1.16 billion CPI Capital Partners Europe fund, which closed in November 2006, and the $1.29 billion CPI Capital Partners Asia Pacific fund. As reported in PERE last month, CPI was in the process of raising a second Asia property fund when the credit crunch hit. After raising close to $400 million in equity and holding a first close, the firm decided in the first quarter to cancel the fund and is now in the process of handing back equity to investors.

Orf said CPI's change in strategy may have been “one factor” in Bottomley's decision to move, “but it wasn't the main one. This was an opportunity for John to do something new and we wish him well.”