Kirkland & Ellis has hired another partner into its London investment funds team—the second this week.
The firm, which has enacted a successful strategy in terms of building its funds team, is now looking to maximise its real estate funds work as the sector continues to be lucrative.
Partner Louisa Cobbe joins from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where she has been for over 14 years. She started as a trainee at legacy Berwin Leighton Paisner and was elected to partnership at BCLP in 2019.
Cobbe advises investors and managers on the structuring, capital raising and operations of investment vehicles and funds, focusing particularly on real estate, with joint ventures, club deals and indirect acquisitions and disposals of real estate assets and businesses, according to a statement by Kirkland.
London Kirkland investment funds partner Christopher Braunack noted that her hire “will be an invaluable resource” at a time the firm is “seeing a huge uptick in activity” within its real estate fund sponsor clients.
One of the foremost funds practices internationally, Kirkland European investment funds practice is home to over 25 partners, having poached a number from rivals in the last few years.
While traditional private equity is in a more difficult fundraising environment due to rising inflation and a crowded landscape, interest in other asset classes remains high, and Kirkland is aiming to monopolise.
According to one partner at the firm, key client KKR said that 40% of its new capital raised in Q2 was from real estate and infrastructure. Hence why hiring real-estate specialist Cobbe “was the most obvious choice”, according to the partner.
At fellow key client Blackstone, real estate assets have also swelled. Real estate currently is the largest of Blackstone’s asset classes, which had a total of $88 billion of inflows in Q2. This was its second highest quarter ever and equal to its total assets under management at the time of its 2007 IPO.
Cobbe will be working alongside Ashurst London partner Catherine Gokah, who Kirkland announced it had hired yesterday.
BCLP declined to comment.