Doughty real estate head to leave

Following the recent loss of two senior principals, Doughty Hanson managing partner Marc Mogull will leave its real estate business, according to reports.

Marc Mogull, head of real estate at London-based private equity firm Doughty Hanson, is leaving the firm ahead of the launch of its second real estate fund, according to a report in The Financial Times.

Mogull’s exit, the date of which has not been confirmed according to the report, follows the recent departures of two other senior staff within the firm’s real estate group.

Paolo Sangiotta, the head of Doughty’s real estate operations in Italy recently left the firm, along with London-based principal James Max.

Mogull’s position will be filled by current chief operating officer John Howard, who has worked on a number of investments from the first fund, including some in Italy.

The firm has had a number of successes in Italy, including the 2003 sale of the L'Oréal Italia headquarters building in Milan to German open-end funds, WestInvest for more than €70 million ($91 million). That transaction followed the sale of Bodio Properties, to German fund DEGI (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Immobilienfonds), a subsidiary of the Allianz Dresdner real estate group, for more than €200 million.

Doughty’s first $632 million (€488 million) fund, Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate, is approximately 70 percent invested according to the FT report, having returned around $160 million to investors to date.

The firm is due to launch a second fund dedicated to real estate next year and will also seek to replace Sangiotta in Italy and find a new real estate head for France according to reports.

The potentially damaging blow to the firm’s fundraising hopes for next year comes following a difficult fundraising campaign for the firm’s fourth private equity fund, Doughty Hanson IV, which held a first close on €700 million in September 2003.

However, the firm has been boosted by a number of exits in 2004, including the disposals of defence and aerospace company Dunlop Standard Aerospace, German automotive parts operator Auto-Teile-Unger and the partial IPO of British sportswear company Umbro.