Behringer Harvard to Set Up Shop in Germany

With an eye on ramping up its global footprint, Behringer Harvard is opening an office in Hamburg, Germany, that will begin operations this month. The Dallas-headquartered firm’s Hamburg location will focus on European real estate acquisitions, as well as asset and property management for Behringer Harvard’s assets in Europe. “Many opportunities, including our recently announced Central European investment platform, exist within Europe,” said Jason Mattox, chief administrative officer for Behriger Harvard. “Our ability to manage our existing portfolio and to responsibly expand that portfolio is strategically enhanced with our new office.” While the German office market is experiencing slowing growth as a result of the credit crunch, “as an anchor for Europe and really within the major economies of the world, researchers suggest that the German office market will have relatively greater stability over the long term,” Mattox noted. In a simultaneous move, the company has tapped Oliver Georg and Olaf Fortmann to join the firm as managing directors for the new Hamburg office. Before coming to Behringer Harvard, Georg and Fortmann teamed up to develop a real estate platform for HCI Capital AG, a German supplier of closed-end funds. They also had active roles in establishing a partnership that kicked off in 2006 between HCI Capital and Behringer Harvard. Georg worked at HCI Capital from 1999 to 2008, establishing and managing the company’s real estate unit. A real estate investment veteran with more than 25 years of experience, he has also served as an asset manager for a German private investor, set up branch offices in the former East Germany for international real estate consultancy DTX Deutschland GmbH and worked as an investment consultant in the United States. Fortmann, who has more than 15 years of international real estate experience, most recently served as a managing director for HCI Capital. His experience also includes a stretch as a director for Blue Capital GmbH, the closed-end funds arm of German financial institution HypoVereinsbank Group and a stint as a director for German investor firm Difa AG. Behringer Harvard as been active at home as well; last month the firm snapped up One BriarLake Plaza, 20-story tower in Houston, and announced the initial public offering of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I Inc. at $10.00 per share.