Asset Manager, Alternatives
Company: LaSalle Investment Management
Job Title: Asset Manager
Department: Asset Management
This role is for an Asset Manager (P2) in the Alternatives asset management team, responsible for the management of LaSalle’s specialist sectors, such as student housing, healthcare and hotels, across the UK. The team consists of two asset managers and a graduate and is responsible for approximately £1.9bn of specialist assets across LaSalle’s UK direct property mandates. The assets under management have grown rapidly over the last 2 years and the Team is now responsible for approximately 8,800 beds nationally, approaching £2bn in terms of asset value.
Role and Accountabilities:
The successful candidate will support the Head of Alternatives. The main focus of the role will be in creating and implementing value-add initiatives and risk mitigation strategies for the alternative sectors portfolio to deliver optimal asset performance. Specifically, the responsibilities will include:
- Business Planning: working with the team to devise and recommend the strategy (inc. hold/sell) and specific initiatives for individual assets. This will entail creating an annual business plan and providing the inputs for the annual projection process.
- Student Housing Portfolio: formulating and executing asset management strategies and plans for the student housing portfolio, including marketing strategies to optimise income/occupancy and realise the highest value of the assets. Responsible for the overall positioning of assets as well as the enhancement of cashflow and asset value; maintaining good relationships with Colleges and Universities to ensure high retention rate; working with the Operators in managing annual budgets and covering the financial performance of the assets.
- Acquisitions/Disposals:communicating LaSalle’s investment requirements to the market to source potential opportunities in the Alternative Sectors and then assisting the team and Fund Managers on the acquisition due diligence process. Also, assist the team and Fund Managers on the sale process including appointment of agents, decision on marketing strategy and management of lawyers and others in the legal process. These processes will also entail preparation of the Investment Committee recommendation and involvement in the presentation of this to the senior members of the UK business for approval.
- Asset Management Initiatives: Implementing initiatives identified in the business plan, including marketing strategies, refurbishment/redevelopment projects, rent reviews, lease re-gears/renewals, consideration of alternative uses and all other opportunities to create and protect value. You will also be required to recommend and justify these initiatives for approval.
- Managing External Property Managers and Student Housing Operators: Overseeing property management by outsourced service providers and ensuring accountability and performance through regular management meetings and quarterly performance reviews with reference to agreed KPI’s to include tracking and monitoring of rent collection, arrears and data-base records.
- Managing Strategic Agents: Working with the consultants and strategic agents to understand the Alternative markets (trends, values, competition etc.). Monitoring and rewarding good performance and creative advice. Building on and utilising the relationships with the consultants and agents to drive portfolio performance.
- Reporting: provide quarterly updates to the Fund Management team on progress against the business plan. Be able to challenge the assumptions proposed by the Student Housing Operators.
- Valuation: providing information to valuers as required and to the Fund Management team for performance assessment.
- Environmental and Sustainability: ensure compliance with the LaSalle Sustainability policy in asset management initiatives including taking account of the LaSalle Refurbishment and Redevelopment guidelines.
- Data and technology: maintaining the in-house data on performance of the specialist properties (student, healthcare and hotels). Being able to request the relevant information and data to support business plans. Knowledge and interest in the latest technology and IT that drives the operational effectiveness for the assets. Examples include apps and online marketing tools to maximise student bookings.
Required Qualifications & Experience:
- BA or BSc degree with strong record of academic achievement.
- An understanding of property fundamentals (property management, leasing and development), particularly for operational assets (such as hotels or student accommodation).
- At least two years of experience in alternatives sectors with a good network of contacts across these sectors.
- Basic knowledge of management contracts, nomination agreements and hotel trading metrics.
- Strong interpersonal skills and good verbal and written communication skills with an ability to work collaboratively.
- Knowledge of the impact of sustainability on the property industry.
- Strong numeracy, financial and computer skills including MS Excel and an ability to understand key performance drivers.
- Adaptable team player with the ability to operate autonomously when needed.
- Able to manage multiple tasks effectively and prioritise as required to meet expectations.
- Must be able to fit in with an established team and contribute to goals outside of their role for the benefit of the firm.
- A good knowledge of cashflow forecasts and P&L of hospitality assets is also an advantage.
- A well established knowledge of the influence of technology in these specialist sectors in terms of their operation, marketing and target occupiers (particularly relevant in the student sectors).