Moser to join Fortress’ German operations

The former Terra Firma managing director is joining Fortress Investment Group as a managing director of the firm’s alternative investment team in Germany.

( New-York based Fortress Investment Group announced that Matthias Moser has agreed to join the firm as managing director in January, following his announced departure from UK-based private equity firm Terra Firma last month.


Moser will lead Fortress’s alternative investment expansion efforts in Germany.


Last month, Moser quit his position as a financial managing director focused on German activities at Terra Firma, headed by Guy Hands, where he had worked for more than three years. He had previously been co-head of project finance at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.


“Matthias is one of the most highly respected investment professionals in Germany,” said Robert Kauffman, founding partner and head of Fortress’s European operations, in a statement. “Adding an individual of Matthias’ caliber will be enormous value to Fortress as we continue to expand our European investment activities into Germany.”


On “gardening leave” until the end of the year, Moser was understood to be joining Eurohypo, the German mortgage lender and property investor that was created in 2002 and controlled by Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and Allianz Group.


Moser’s departure was one of many from Terra Firma this year. Jennifer Dunstan, also a financial managing director and another senior figure at Terra Firma's 70-strong team, left the firm for what the firm described as personal reasons. Earlier this year, Mark Tagliaferri also quit. Peter Middleton, an operational managing director, resigned 18 months ago, shortly after Terra Firma had gained independence from Nomura International, the Japanese bank.


Moser’s departure, described by a source familiar with the situation as 'the most disappointing' of the recent resignations, has left Terra Firma’s German coverage without a senior financial specialist. David Pascall, an operating partner based in Frankfurt, is currently the most senior member of the firm’s German team.


Founded in 1998 by a group of senior professionals led by Wesley Edens, Fortress Investment Group is a global alternative investment and asset management firm with more than $4.7bn in capital currently under management. Fortress has satellite offices in London, Rome, Frankfurt and Geneva, and invests in three asset classes: private equity, real estate securities and hedge funds. In 2002, Fortress raised its second private equity fund, Fortress Investment Fund II, with total capital commitments of $1.25bn. In April 2000, the firm closed its debut private equity fund Fortress Investment Fund on $873m.


In January, Fortress also brought aboard Thomas Saylak, former co-head of the real estate advisory team at New York-based private equity firm The Blackstone Group, as a managing partner and member of the firm's six-person management committee.


In March, Fortress, along with JC Flowers & Co and Cerberus Capital Management, acquired Conseco Finance Corp from bankrupt insurance and lending giant Conseco, which received $500m from Thomas H Lee Co in 1999.