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LaSalle Names CEO for Europe

Karen Brennan will take the helm of the real estate investment manager’s $22 billion European unit when current CEO Simon Marrison becomes chairman.

LaSalle Investment Management will soon have new leadership for its European real estate assets.

The firm’s chief executive officer for Europe, Simon Marrison, will step down after nearly ten years to assume a chairman advisory role for the European business, LaSalle announced Wednesday. He will be succeeded by Karen Brennan, head of custom accounts for the Americas, on June 30.

As CEO for Europe, Brennan will join LaSalle’s nine-person global management committee and oversee the firm’s pan-European, private-equity real estate business, which has about $22 billion of assets. LaSalle had about $65 billion in private and public property and real-estate debt investments globally at the end of 2018.

“Simon has played a pivotal role in LaSalle’s growth and success in Europe over his decade-plus leadership of the business,” said LaSalle’s global CEO Jeff Jacobson in the firm's statement. “I am confident that Simon’s mentorship and Karen’s proven investment, client, and leadership skills will lead LaSalle to continued growth and success in Europe.”

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According to the statement, LaSalle’s European business more than doubled its assets under management under Marrison’s leadership. Marrison, who joined LaSalle in 2001 as managing director for continental Europe, was named co-head of Europe in 2007 before ascending to regional CEO in 2009.

At LaSalle, Marrison operated six funds in the European region, launched two businesses – one focused on separate accounts, the other on debt and special situations – and grew the firm’s pan-European Encore+ fund to a gross asset value of more than $2 billion.

His successor Brennan has worked at LaSalle since 1999, holding “a variety of leadership, investment, asset, and portfolio management roles across the organization,” including serving as portfolio manager for LaSalle’s Asia opportunity funds from 2008 to 2012, according to the firm’s statement. As head of the Americas custom accounts group, Brennan worked with large institutional clients, increasing the division’s assets under management by more than 30 percent to almost $10 billion.

In the statement, Marrison said he would work closely with Brennan as he steps back from day-to-day management of the business.

“With the business on such firm footing, now is an opportune time for a talented leader with a global perspective to take it to the next level,” he said.

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