Deutsche's Real Estate Investment Unit Staffs Up

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Deutsche Bank's North American property investment arm, Rreef Real Estate, is rebuilding staff after departures last summer.

Two key hires were announced this week. Richard B. Putnam was named managing director in the acquisitions group. Based in Costa Mesa, Calif., he will be responsible for acquiring office, industrial and retail properties in Los Angeles and Orange County. He was an executive director in Cushman & Wakefield's capital markets group.

Stephen W. Lekki joined Rreef as a director in portfolio management. Based in San Francisco, he will manage the CalWest industrial portfolio, Rreef says. Lekki was a vice president and portfolio manager with AMB Property Corp., where he helped expand their industrial holdings throughout North America and Asia.

The appointments come in the aftermath of a string of departures over the summer. Rreef North America Chairman Steven Steppe left in July and Managing Director Sol Raso, who headed global client relations, left at the end of the summer, each after serving out their respective dive-year contract periods. Laura Gaylord succeeded Raso as managing director for North American client relations as part of a succession plan. Others who left Rreef last summer include portfolio manager Doug Sturiale, acquisitions team managing directors Dan Weaver and Mark Carlson, and Dwight Merriman, head of value-added investments.

Rreef Real Estate is the property division of Rreef Alternative Investments, which Deutsche acquired from a Netherlands-based firm in 2002. Other Rreef divisions operate infrastructure, private equity and hedge funds. It had $83.5bn in assets under management globally at the end of September, according to Financial News.

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