LaSalle beefs up debt investment team

The firm has almost fully invested two debt funds and has mad the hires after several senior departures last year. Mike Pashley joins from Ares while Ali Imraan comes from RBS.

The European finance director at private equity firm Ares, Mike Pashley, and Ali Imraan from RBS's ABS team, have joined LaSalle's debt investment business, PDI sister title REC reported.

The pair will beef up LaSalle's debt investment and special situations team led by Amy Aznar, which saw several senior staff leave last year.

Pashley will oversee loan asset management and the finance functions for LaSalle's debt funds. The firm has begun fund-raising for new funds after lending £550 million in 2015 and almost fully investing its two vehicles, LaSalle Real Estate Debt Strategies 2 and LaSalle Residential Finance.

Imraan, who was responsible for loan underwriting for distribution and securitisation within the asset backed finance team at RBS in London, will work with LaSalle director Daniel Pottorff on new deal origination and execution.

Last year, Michael Zerda left LaSalle to join Blackstone's Real Estate Debt Strategies' business in London, as a managing director working with Rob Harper on originating European deals for new debt fund BREDS 3. Zerda started his new role at BREDs this week.

Axel Brinkmann left Lasalle to take up the opportunity to head lending in the UK for Canadian bank RBC Real Estate Capital Partners when Kathryn Ogdens transferred to the US. And Tanja Ennsgraber went to Cain Hoy.

Aznar said: “Mike and Ali each bring a valuable set of skills to the team and I'm delighted to welcome them to LaSalle. We experienced a fantastic 2015 with 12 deals in 12 months, lending to high calibre sponsors on strong real estate. These new senior level appointments will bolster our team and will allow us to seize upon an increasing number of market opportunities in 2016.”

She added that LaSalle has increased the size of its business and has transacted $2 billion of loans since it was established six years ago.

RBS has been cutting back on its capital markets business and pulled the one securitisation it attempted to sell last year – Antares. Unlike Lloyds, the bank is holding most of the debt it writes on balance sheet.

Like other European debt fund managers, Aznar said LaSalle had had a very busy final quarter in 2015 when five of its 12 deals closed. They included:


  • A £76 million whole loan to Apache Capital Partners against 12-24 Paul Street, a student housing asset in Shoreditch London, UK. Wells Fargo purchased a senior participation shortly after closing.
  • A £103 million whole loan to finance Brockton Capital's circa £137 million acquisition of Great Minster North at 33 Horseferry Road, an office building in London, UK. LaSalle also syndicated the senior participation, to an insurance investor.
  • A junior loan together with Wells Fargo, as senior lender, to finance Benson Elliot's acquisition of Guildford Business Park and the Meadows Shopping Centre in Chelmsford, part of the private equity manager's Project Bentley acquisition.