GREENWICH, Connecticut, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Starwood Capital, the global private real estate investment firm, announced today it has hired Zsolt Kohalmi, formerly Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Bergman, to head up its European acquisition efforts.
Zsolt joins Starwood as a partner and Head of European Acquisitions effective Monday, April 8, 2013, and will be tasked with significantly growing Starwood's European private equity portfolio across Europe. Starwood Capital is currently investing from Starwood Global Opportunity Fund IX, which has commitments exceeding $4 billion and has the ability to target all sectors globally.
Given its aim to achieve a higher European presence, in addition to single asset transactions, Starwood intends to increase its focus on corporate and portfolio opportunities, and is targeting a gross internal rate of return of mid-teens and above for its equity transactions.
Starwood has had a busy start to 2013 with the acquisition of special servicer Hatfield Philips -- as part of its acquisition of LNR globally for $1.05 billion -- as well as the acquisition of Principal Hayley hotel group in the United Kingdom for a purchase price of £360 million.
Zsolt will join Peter Denton, a former BNP Paribas executive who joined Starwood last year to oversee the firm's European debt platform, to round out Starwood's senior leadership team in Europe. Zsolt will report to Jeff Dishner, Starwood's Senior Managing Director and head of global acquisitions, who moved to London in 2010 to execute upon the significant expansion of Starwood's two-pronged business focus.
"We are thrilled to add a seasoned M&A executive of Zsolt's caliber to round out our executive team in Europe," Dishner said. "Zsolt's considerable experience and understanding of the European markets, together with his knowledge of nine languages, will be valuable in achieving Starwood's aim to increase the size of its European portfolio."
During his seven years as CIO at Meyer Bergman, Zsolt was responsible for transaction execution and origination as well as jointly leading the fundraising at the firm. Notable transactions include the Bentalls Centre, Kingston, the Exchange, Ilford, the Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, and Galeria Katowice, Poland. Over the last three years, Meyer Bergman deployed in excess of €1 billion in transaction value.
Zsolt has more than 18 years' experience in real estate and corporate finance, having previously worked in senior positions at GE Capital and ABN AMRO. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and a MSEC from the University of Budapest.
About Starwood Capital Group
Starwood Capital Group is a private, U.S.-based investment firm with a core focus on global real estate. Since the group's inception in 1991, the firm has raised more than $16 billion of equity capital, and through its various funds, has invested $13.7 billion representing over $36 billion in assets. Starwood Capital Group currently has more than $22 billion of assets under management. Starwood Capital Group maintains offices in Greenwich, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, and affiliated offices in London, Luxembourg, Paris, Mumbai and Sao Paulo. Starwood Capital Group has invested in nearly every class of real estate on a global basis, including office, retail, residential, senior housing, golf, hotels, resorts and industrial assets. Starwood Capital Group and its affiliates have successfully executed an investment strategy that includes building enterprises around core real estate portfolios in both the private and public markets. Additional information about Starwood Capital can be found at www.starwoodcapital.com.