TeamBenson Elliot Team                                                    
TeamBenson Elliot Team
The Benson Elliot team is led by Chairman and Chief Investment Officer Marc Mogull, Managing Partner Joseph De Leo and Partner James Jakeman. The team comprises around forty professionals, with investment and investment management experience across Europe. The firm’s culture is one that places a high value on creativity, client service, civic responsibility and teamwork.

Benson Elliot’s unique investment approach is distinguished by its pan-European presence and long-standing industry relationships, which enable the firm to work quickly, creatively and discreetly across markets and sectors.

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Chairman, Chief Investment Officer and Investment Committee Member MARC MOGULLMarc’s 28 year track record in European property spans nineteen countries, covering equity, debt and a multitude of asset classes. In addition to his role as Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Benson Elliot, Marc chairs the Bank of England Commercial Property Forum and is a Senior Fellow in the Land Economy faculty at the University of Cambridge. Marc is an Eminent Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a past Chairman of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) UK. He is a member of the RICS Global Risk Management Forum and the UK Department of Communities and Local Government Commercial Property Forum.

Before founding Benson Elliot Marc established and managed the private equity real estate platform at UK buyout firm Doughty Hanson & Co, leading DH Fund I to a 42.5% IRR and 4.2x multiple. A pioneer in Europe's emerging markets, Marc established the Property and Tourism team at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 1993. Marc began his European career at Goldman Sachs, before which he was a Vice President with Chicago-based JMB Realty.

Marc holds a BS in Economics, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) and an MBA, summa cum laude, from Northwestern University (Kellogg).​

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Managing Partner and Investment Committee MemberJOSEPH DE LEO With over 23 years of real estate experience, Joseph holds a wealth of knowledge in European and North American real estate investing. He joined Benson Elliot in 2008, and is responsible for the Firm’s management and oversees the regional and sector specialist teams.

Before joining Benson Elliot, Joseph was a Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group in Frankfurt, Germany where he built and managed a $5.5 bn investment portfolio and a team of 40 real estate professionals. Prior to joining Fortress, Joseph was Vice President at Oxford Properties Group in Toronto, Canada, where he directed acquisitions in Europe and the US. Prior to that he worked at Borealis Capital Corp, where he was responsible for leading and directing a C$3.8 bn retail business. Joseph began his career in private equity real estate at CIBC.

Joseph is a member of the GRI Club, the Urban Land Institute and Real Estate Balance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Planning degree from Queen's University in Canada.

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Partner and Investment Committee MemberJAMES JAKEMANJames has over 20 years of generalist experience in the real estate industry and leads Benson Elliot’s activities in the UK and Ireland. During his career he has led equity, mezzanine and senior financing transactions worth over €2bn across retail, office, industrial and residential assets primarily in the UK, Scandinavia and Central Europe.

Before joining Benson Elliot in 2012, he was a Managing Director and head of UK Property at Société Générale following eight years at Lehman Brothers where he served as Executive Director on the real estate principal investments team.

James began his real estate career in 1995 at Jones Lang LaSalle and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor having graduated from CASS Business School with a BSc Hons in Property Valuation and Finance.

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Partner and CFOKEN MACNAUGHTONAs CFO Ken is responsible for financial reporting, tax, fund level financing and fund structuring at Benson Elliot and also serves as the Firm’s Compliance Officer. Ken has 19 years of experience as a Chief Financial Officer in the real estate industry.

Ken joined the Firm in 2009 and together with his Finance and Legal teams, is involved in many aspects of the investments made by the Benson Elliot funds. Previously he spent two years at Cambridge Place Investment Management and six years at Security Capital European Realty. Ken trained in the London office of BDO Stoy Hayward, qualifying as a chartered accountant with the ICAEW in 1989.

Ken is an honours graduate of Accounting and Finance from Kingston University, Surrey and is a fluent French speaker.

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Investment Professionals

PrincipalLEOPOLDO ANDREIS DE GREGORIOLeopoldo has 20 years of experience in the real estate industry. After six years at Benson Elliot’s London office working on deals across Europe, Leopoldo relocated to Milan in July 2012 to focus exclusively on the Italian market.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Leopoldo was a Vice President and senior Italian investment professional at Lehman Brothers, where he was responsible for originating, evaluating, structuring and negotiating transactions in Italy. Between 2002 and 2006 Leopoldo led transactions, representing total acquisition / development costs in excess of €1bn. Prior to joining Lehman in London in 2000, he worked in the asset management and valuation departments of Healey & Baker.

Leopoldo has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Turin University and is a native Italian speaker.

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PrincipalMARC-OLIVIER ASSOULINEMarc-Olivier has 16 years of industry experience and joined Benson Elliot in 2007 to cover acquisitions and asset management for France and hotels in Europe.

Prior to that, he was a member of the acquisitions team at London-based Starwood Capital, where he was involved in various projects in the hospitality sector, and also worked on office transactions in the UK and France. Before joining Starwood, Marc-Olivier was at Goldman Sachs in Paris, where he focused on M&A in the real estate sector.

Marc-Olivier graduated from ESSEC Business School in Paris with a specialisation in Finance and Real Estate. Marc-Olivier is a native French speaker and fluent in Spanish.

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Director of RetailPETER CORNFORTHPeter joined Benson Elliot in 2012 as Director of Retail and brings to the Firm 26 years of experience in the real estate industry. He has acquired, managed and refurbished retail portfolios and shopping centres across the UK, in both principal and advisory capacities.

He has extensive leasing and space reconfiguration expertise, having worked with many of the industry’s leading retailers. Peter began his career in retail, sourcing and delivering space for a range of tenants including: Next, Marks & Spencer, J. Sainsbury and Tesco. He then spent ten years working on the client side before founding and running his own asset management / operating partner business. In this role he advised Anglo Irish Bank / NAMA on the refinancing and exit of distressed shopping assets. His focus is increasingly on mixed-use urban neighbourhoods and city centres, where leisure offers, social interaction and creative clustering are driving experiential retail environments.

Peter is MRICS qualified (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and holds a BSc in Land Management from Reading University.

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PrincipalGREGG GILBERTGregg has 15 years of experience in the real estate industry and joined Benson Elliot in 2011 as head of Iberia, where he is responsible for managing, originating and analysing new investment opportunities in Spain.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Gregg was part of the investment team at Colony Capital, where he worked on debt and equity transactions across Europe, with a primary focus on Spain. Earlier in his career Gregg was a consultant at ERA advising clients on the market and financial feasibility of hotel and residential developments across the United States, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Gregg received his BA from Dartmouth College, an MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the Wharton School. Gregg is a fluent Spanish speaker.

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Nicolas Houssin
Investment Manager Nicolas Houssin Nicolas joined Benson Elliot in 2015 and focuses on the French speaking markets.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Nicolas was an analyst within the M&A team at Deutsche Bank in Paris where he advised large French Corporates and Private Equity firms in their transactions (involving mainly M&A but also ECM and DCM). Nicolas graduated from Centrale Engineering School in Marseille and from ESSEC Business School in Paris.

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Julian Jaeger
Investment Manager Julian Jaeger Julian joined Benson Elliot in 2014, he has seven years of real estate experience and, focusses primarily on hospitality assets across Europe, as well as other operational sectors. 

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Julian was part of the investment team at Perennial Capital Advisors in Boston, MA. During his time there, he focussed on indirect real estate investments in Europe, North America and Asia, via primary funds, co-investments and sponsor equity.

Julian holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Tufts University.

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PrincipalGEORGE MACKINNONGeorge, who has 10 years’ experience in the real estate industry, joined Benson Elliot in 2012. He focuses on the UK market, as well as UK and European hotels and corporate situations.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, George worked in the Real Estate M&A team at Lazard in London. During his time there he was involved in capital raising totalling over £1.5bn for listed UK property companies, NPL portfolio disposals totalling over £1bn, and general M&A advisory work for a variety of clients.

George received his BA from Oxford University.

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PrincipalRÉMI MONGLON Rémi has 20 years of experience in the real estate industry and leads the Firm’s activities in France. Prior to joining Benson Elliot in 2006, Rémi was an Investment Manager at Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners where he was responsible for four real estate portfolios in France and Italy.

Previously, Rémi spent six years at Archon Group (a Goldman Sachs Group company), latterly as Portfolio Manager where he managed five portfolios valued at €1.8bn.

Rémi holds a Masters in Finance & Real Estate from Paris University XII and a Bachelor’s in Law & Tax from the Sorbonne University. Rémi is a native French speaker and is fluent in Italian.

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Investment ManagerJONATHAN RATNAGEJonathan joined Benson Elliot in 2014 as an Investment Manager specialising in Retail. During his career he has managed and asset managed shopping centres and retail assets, with clients such as Aviva, Standard Life and UBS, working in both principal and advisory capacities.

Jonathan started his career at Lambert Smith Hampton. He previously worked at Warner Estate as an Asset Manager focusing on the London and South East markets. In 2012 he joined the Property & Asset Management Team at JLL where he managed a number of shopping centre schemes and successfully implemented and developed the Retail Asset Management arm of the business.

Jonathan is MRICS qualified (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and holds an MA in Property Valuation & Law from Cass Business School.

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Investment ManagerPABLO REDONDOPablo has seven years of real estate experience and joined Benson Elliot in 2015, where he focuses on the Iberian market.  

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Pablo worked was a part of the advisory team of Hipoges Iberia in Madrid underwriting the acquisition NPL and REO pools totalling over €12 bn. Earlier in his career Pablo worked in the M&A team of Alantra in Madrid, with a focus of non-core asset disposals, company and property re-financings, and general M&A advisory work for a variety of clients.

Pablo holds a dual BA from ICADE (Universidad Pontifia de Comillas) and Northeastern University, and an MBA from the Columbia Business School. Pablo is fluent in Spanish, English and French.

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PrincipalCEDRIC REIMERSCedric, who has been in the real estate industry since 2007, joined Benson Elliot in 2010, where he focuses on Poland and the German market, and also covers Denmark, the Netherlands and the logistics market.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Cedric worked at AEW Europe where he was involved in investing c. €500m across various asset classes and countries. Previously he worked in JP Morgan’s principal investments group.

Cedric holds a German Diplom-Kaufmann from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and holds an MSc in Management and Finance from France’s EM Lyon. Cedric is a native German speaker and is fluent in French.

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Luca Scollo
Investment Manager Luca Scollo Luca joined Benson Elliot in 2015, he has seven years of real estate experience and focuses primarily on Benson Elliot’s activities in the Italian market.

Luca works on acquisitions involving distressed, insolvency, change of use concepts and structured proposals, and has identified and executed value investments for the firm’s opportunistic funds. In December 2019, Luca was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of Europa Risorse SGR SpA.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Luca worked on the Real Estate Corporate Finance Advisory team at Deloitte in Milan, where he was focused on M&A transactions and debt restructuring processes.

Luca holds a BA in Management and MSc Finance from Bocconi University, Milan, where he graduated in 2012.

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PrincipalGEORG STRASSNERGeorg started working with Benson Elliot in 2012 as a Principal and leads the Firm’s German activities from Munich and London. With 24 years of experience in the industry, Georg brings with him extensive experience across all major sectors of real estate in both acquisitions and asset management. He heads the Firm’s German activities.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Georg worked on a variety of development and portfolio transactions in Germany and Austria for Strategic Value Partners and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing.Between 2003 and 2007 he was a Principal with Doughty Hanson Real Estate, where, as head of asset management for Germany, he worked alongside Marc Mogull.

Georg holds a Diploma in Economics from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich and is a native German speaker.

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Director of DevelopmentNICK WARINGNick joined Benson Elliot in 2011 as Director of Development and has 25 years of experience working in the property industry, predominantly in project management and development management.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Nick ran a project management office for Mott MacDonald and headed up a regional Project Management office for EC Harris (now Arcadis). In addition Nick established and led a 25-person in house major works development team for Orco, a major property developer in Central Europe and Germany. He has managed and overseen office, hotel, retail, residential, logistics and mixed use schemes throughout the UK and across much of Europe.

Nick has a Bsc Hons Estate Management from the University of Northumbria and a Postgraduate Diploma in Property Development (Project Management) from Southbank London.

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Finance, legal and Investor relations

Director of Investor RelationsLAURA COLEMANLaura joined Benson Elliot in 2012 to oversee Investor Relations. Laura has 17 years of real estate experience in a range of roles including: acquisitions, asset and portfolio management, and investor relations.

Prior to joining Benson Elliot, Laura spent seven years with O’Connor Capital Partners in New York City where she was responsible for investments in the retail, office and residential sectors for two US domestic opportunity funds of $1.1bn. She previously spent time as a project manager for Sciame, a high-end construction management firm based in New York City.

Laura has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Harvard University.

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Director of FinanceMARTIJN VAN DAMMartijn is responsible for financial reporting, coordinating fund/entity audits and maintaining compliance programs for the fund corporate structures. He joined Benson Elliot as Group Controller in 2007 and is based in the Amsterdam office.

Martijn has 24 years of experience in financial control and auditing. He spent seven years at SITA (ICT organisation for the Air Transport Community) as an internal auditor and financial controller responsible for preparing the firm’s worldwide consolidation and annual reports. Martijn trained in the Amstelveen office of KPMG, qualifying as a chartered accountant (RA) with the NIVRA in 1999.

Martijn is a Registered Accountant and holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and a Bachelor’s degree in Auditing.

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Kristen Kozlowski
Director of Operations Kristen Kozlowski Kristen Kozlowski is the Director of Operations at Benson Elliot and is responsible for portfolio management and fund reporting.

She previously worked in transaction advisory for CBRE Hotels, assisting global capital in the acquisition and disposition of hotels throughout the United States and Europe. She began her career with Sage Hospitality, a third-party management company in the U.S. Kristen holds an MBA from London Business School and Columbia Business School, and a BS in Finance from the University of Colorado.

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Director of TransactionsMELISSA LESSIMelissa is responsible for legal affairs relating to the structuring and execution of deal transactions. She joined Benson Elliot as Legal Counsel in 2009.

Previously she was Vice President, Legal at JER Partners where she was responsible for legal matters relating to transaction structuring and execution, asset management, restructuring and fund structuring across Europe. Prior to working in-house Melissa was an Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, where she advised private equity and corporate clients on mergers and acquisitions, and in Australia as a Solicitor for Freehills, advising clients on commercial transactions.

Melissa is admitted as a solicitor in England and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) and a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) from the University of Sydney.

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Investor RelationsMATILDA WILLIAMSMatilda joined Benson Elliot in 2011 and has nine years of real estate experience.

Matilda focuses on all aspects of investor relations, including reporting, marketing and fundraising. Matilda participated in the raise of the Firm’s two most recent value-add funds, raising over €1.5 bn of equity from investors globally.

Prior to this, Matilda worked in public relations at Cubitt Consulting in London, providing media relations consultancy to financial companies, and in the Sustainable and Responsible Investments team at Fortis Investments in Frankfurt.

Matilda holds a BA in Modern Languages from Oxford University. She is a fluent French speaker and proficient in German.

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General CounselDOROTHÉE WINTLEDorothée joined Benson Elliot in 2008 as General Counsel.

She was previously working as a real estate lawyer with the UK Law firm Clifford Chance from 2000- 2004, as well as the US law firm Jones Day. She was then advising a diverse range of real estate investors on their asset and corporate real estate transactions in France. Dorothée is a member of both the New York (1999) and Paris Bars (2000).

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law and a Master in Real Estate Law from Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II) in France, as well as a Master of Law (LL.M.) from New York University - School of Law in the US.

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