Real Estate Alert: Asset Managers Back in Demand

REA - Asset Managers Back in Demand

Asset Managers Back in Demand

It’s another sign of the real estate market’s recovery: More job openings for asset managers.

Companies that stepped up their acquisitions over the last few years are now on the hunt for experienced pros to oversee their growing portfolios. Among the shops that have hired asset managers recently are New York-based Emmes Asset Management, which added a vice president in Irvine, Calif., Maxxam Enterprises of Beverly Hills and San Francisco fund operator Stockbridge Capital.

Kent Elliott, a principal at executive search firm RETS Associates of Newport Beach, Calif., said his firm is working on 66% more searches for asset manager this quarter compared with a year ago.

As investors resumed their buying activity after the crash, there was a spike in hirings of acquisitions specialists during 2011. That demand dropped off last year as those pros got to work, and now the need is greater for asset managers who can oversee recent investments or development projects.

The demand is coming from a mix of investors, and their preferences vary, Elliott said. Pension fund advisors want staffers who’ve worked for other advisors, while REITs tend to look for specialists in specific asset types or markets. He added: “They want the sure thing. They want that professional that’s been there, that’s done it and can handle the function across all levels.”