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Morgan Stanley Hires New Head of Real Estate Investments

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Morgan Stanley (MS) announced that John Klopp is joining the firm as head of Americas real estate investing and global real estate debt investing effective Feb. 1. Klopp is a 30-year veteran of the real estate industry, most recently serving as CEO of the investment management and real estate finance firm he co-founded, Capital Trust (CT). He also was a founder and managing partner of private merchant banking boutique, Victor Capital Group, that specialized in workouts and distressed debt investing. Klopp’s new position may be more than just the average executive hiring, though Morgan Stanley is remaining quiet on that front. As HousingWire previously reported, investment banks around the world are expanding the scope of their search for new investors beyond the traditional institutional investor. Brookfield Properties’ sale of the 1625 Eye St. skyscraper in Washington, DC is one example. Brookfield sold 90% of its interest in the property to HSBC Alternative Investments (HAIL), an exclusive syndicate of HSBC Private Banking clients. Running both Morgan Stanley’s real estate investing and global real estate debt investing units, Klopp could be perfectly positioned to spearhead Morgan Stanley’s search for new investors, particularly those outside the US. Adding to that, Morgan Stanley reports that in its recent conversion to a bank holding company, it intends to form a private banking operation. The bank will reportedly provide a range of banking products and services to customers of its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's financial advisory. Currently, Morgan Stanley’s real estate investment unit has a total portfolio of $59.5bn, including investments in the Europe ($21.4bn), Americas ($19bn) and Asia ($19.1bn). But that could stand to grow if Morgan Stanley follows this emerging trend and can raise additional capital from new investors. Representatives from Morgan Stanley did not return HousingWire’s repeated request for comment before this story was published. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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