Michael Zerda to rejoin LaSalle as head of European debt, special situations and value-add equity strategies

Michael Zerda, head of European debt, special situations and value-add equity strategies, LaSalle Investment Management

LaSalle Investment Management is pleased to announce that Michael Zerda will be rejoining the firm to head up its market-leading Debt & Special Situations platform and value-add equity strategies, spearheading higher return investment initiatives. Michael will work closely with Amy Klein Aznar, who will transition to the role of Executive Chair of Debt & Special Situations later this year.

Later in the year Michael Zerda will become the Head of Debt and Special Situations, overseeing its existing multi-strategy debt business of over 30 professionals, and spanning senior debt, mezzanine, and high yield strategies, as well as growing its special situations and value-add equity strategies. Michael brings a 20-plus year track record of equity and debt investing in European real estate. He was most recently Head of Europe for Blackstone’s Real Estate Debt Strategies (BREDS).

Amy Klein Aznar will become the Executive Chair of LaSalle’s Debt and Special Situations platform. In her new role, Amy will remain closely involved in investment strategy and decision making, client relationships and communication, and will serve on the Debt and Special Situations Investment Committee. She will also continue to meaningfully co-invest in current and future investment vehicles. Amy’s decision to move to the role of Executive Chair will reduce her day-to-day responsibilities and enable her to devote more time to her family’s business interests.

Amy and Michael worked together from 2009 to 2016 while building the Debt and Special Situations at LaSalle and have a long-term business and working relationship, spanning 17 years. The move comes at a time of significant growth for the platform and continued strong investment performance across its multiple business lines. Since inception, LaSalle’s Debt and Special Situations team has raised nearly €6bn, with the fourth fund in the flagship European real estate mezzanine series, LREDS IV, expected to hold its next closing at c.€900m and is on track to exceed its €1bn fund raise target.

Amy Klein Aznar, the incoming Executive Chair of European Debt & Special Situations at LaSalle, said, “I am thrilled that Michael is returning to the business that we started together over ten years ago. I look forward to working together again with Michael and the existing senior team and to my continuing involvement as Executive Chair of Debt and Special Situations.”

Michael Zerda, the incoming Head of European Debt & Special Situations at LaSalle said, “The growth, scope, and scale of the platform is testament to the quality of the team, its investment discipline, and Amy’s leadership since its inception over ten years ago. I am excited to work with the team to help them deploy existing capital and see terrific opportunities ahead as we grow the special situations and value-add equity strategies.”

Philip La Pierre, Head of and CIO of Europe at LaSalle, said, “We are delighted to welcome Michael back to LaSalle. He will be fully supported by his strong senior leadership team including Ali Imraan and Richard Craddock as well as the wider European LaSalle Business. The combination of this leadership, and Amy’s continued involvement in the business, is ideal to continue the exciting growth of the platform. Building out special situations and higher-return equity strategies is a natural evolution of the business and we are confident in Michael and Amy’s ability to lead that expansion through their almost two decades of working together across debt and equity.”