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People moves: Igneo Infrastructure appoints Lea-Wilson head of Europe



People moves: Igneo Infrastructure appoints Lea-Wilson head of Europe

Igneo Infrastructure Partners, Blue Vista Capital Management, Brookfield Properties, The Amherst Group, BioMed Realty, Trinity Investments, AEW Capital Management, EPRA

Igneo Infrastructure PartnersHamish Lea-Wilson, partner and current head of transactions in Europe, has been promoted to head of Europe. Lea-Wilson’s appointment follows the retirement of Marcus Ayre, partner and head of Europe, effective from 30 June 2024. Lea-Wilson joined Igneo in 2008 from PwC and has overseen many transactions including the recent divestments of ForSea and a minority stake in Finerge. Lea-Wilson is a board member at Enfinium and Finerge and a member of the EDIF I, II & III investment committees. As head of Europe, he will report to Niall Mills, managing partner and global head of Igneo. Ayre is a founding member of the Igneo European team, a member of the Igneo global senior management team and a member of the EDIF I, II & III and GDIF investment committees. Ayre will become a senior advisor to Igneo, ensuring that his considerable knowledge and experience continues to be available to the business.

Trinity Investments – The US-based hospitality-focused real estate investor has expanded its leadership team in London with the appointment of Mai Kawashima as a VP of acquisitions, George Austin as a director of strategic operations, Elia Antonioudaki as VP of development and Andrea Hendrick as VP of finance, to service opportunities in the European market. Kawashima joined Trinity from Savills where she led complex cross border hotel transactions and served as the sole pan-European hotel broker for the business. Prior to her time with Savills, she worked at JLL in its hotels and hospitality group. Austin joined Trinity from KSL Capital Partners where he worked in strategic operations. Prior to KSL, he served in various strategic planning, concept development and consulting roles for GlobalData and The Birley Clubs. Antonioudaki joined Trinity from L&R Hotels where she worked as project director, leading capital expenditure programs across the UK, Europe and the Caribbean. Prior to L&R, she worked for Hilton Worldwide as a senior manager of capital projects in the EMEA region and served in various project management roles at Zoniro S.A. – Dolphin Capital Partners and Galaxy G C Group. Hendrick joined Trinity from Oaktree Capital Management where she worked as VP – fund accounting and operations, responsible for the European financial and accounting operations of the real estate equity and debt funds. Prior to Oaktree, she worked at HIG Capital and Citco Fund Services as a senior fund accountant.

BioMed Realty – The Blackstone portfolio company has promoted Colleen O’Connor to  EVP, market lead, East Coast and UK markets; Joanna Hilvert to VP, integration, environmental and ESG; and Dan Krachon to VP, facilities. O’Connor, who joined the firm in 2014, served as SVP, leasing, East Coast and UK Markets. She also serves on the board of directors for NAIOP and CREW Boston. Prior to BioMed Realty, O’Connor worked in finance and accounting roles at Fidelity Investments and PwC. Hilvert served as managing attorney on the integration team. Hilvert joined BioMed Realty in 2020 and has 25 years of experience in practicing commercial real estate, land use and environmental law. Prior to joining BioMed Realty, Hilvert was an attorney in the environmental department at Goulston & Storrs PC, and the real estate department of Brown Rudnick. Krachon served as regional director, facilities. In his expanded role, Krachon has facilities oversight of BioMed Realty’s operating assets within the Seattle, Colorado and San Diego markets. Krachon joined the Company in 2010 and has 30 years of experience managing life science facilities and construction projects. Prior to BioMed Realty, Krachon was a project manager for Turner Construction and Kavanagh Associates.

AEW Capital ManagementKatie Johnson Bergen has joined the firm’s investor relations group as a senior client relationship manager. In her role, Bergen will be responsible for capital formation, client service and broader firm initiatives with AEW’s global investor relations team. Bergen joins AEW from Corten Real Estate, where she served as a principal of Capital Strategies. Before that, she was senior director of Capital Strategies and investor relations at Sagard Real Estate. Prior to that she she spent eight years at CenterSquare Investment Management in a variety of roles, most recently as director of capital markets.    

The Amherst GroupPaul Nicholson has joined the firm as deputy CIO. In this newly created role, Nicholson will work alongside chairman, CEO and CIO Sean Dobson in the development and execution of investment strategies and will lead Amherst’s mortgage-backed securities business. Nicholson joins from Santander, where he was the chief risk officer of Santander’s US capital markets business, a role he has held since Santander’s acquisition of Amherst Pierpont. He first joined Amherst Securities Group in 2004 as co-head of the mortgage-backed securities trading desk. Prior to Amherst, he worked at Merrill Lynch for over 20 years where he held a variety of senior trading roles across fixed income.

EPRAJean-Pierre Hanin, CEO of Cofinimmo, has been appointed chair of the European public real estate association until 2026. Hanin, who takes over from Colonial’s Pere Viñolas Serra, has been a member of the EPRA board of directors for the past five years.

Blue Vista Capital Management — Maria Scherer has joined the real estate investment firm as general counsel. Scherer has more than two decades of experience in commercial real estate law and an established track record in providing strategic business and legal advice. She previously served as associate general counsel for Brookfield Properties retail where she provided advice and representation for a national portfolio of regional shopping malls and retail properties.

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