AXA IM Alts hires ADIA’s Europe head to lead German business

AXA IM Alts has appointed Philippe Grasser as managing director of its German business as it targets further growth in the market.

Grasser replaces Christoph Mölleken, who is set to retire at the end of October after nearly 30 years at AXA IM Alts. Based in Frankfurt, Grasser will be responsible for the overall operation of the firm’s real assets business in Germany, devising and implementing strategy and further developing the AXA IM Alts platform in the market.

Prior to joining AXA IM Alts, Grasser spent nearly seven years at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), most latterly as acting head of Europe real estate investments, where he managed a multi-billion real estate portfolio and 20-strong team.

Prior to that, he was managing director of the real estate banking division at Deutsche Bank. He also spent over a decade at Morgan Stanley, rising to become managing director and European co-head of the real estate investment banking division.

John O’Driscoll, head of transactions at AXA IM Alts, commented: ‘We are very pleased to have attracted someone of Philippe’s calibre to lead our German business and deliver on the next phase of growth. His combination of investment and asset management skills will be invaluable at what is an exciting juncture for both AXA IM Alts and the European real estate sector.

‘As one of the most liquid markets globally, backed by a strong economy, German real estate has weathered the challenges of the past 18 months relatively well. It is a market where we have sizeable ambitions and, under Philippe’s leadership, have a high degree of confidence that we can deliver on these in what is one of our priority global markets.’

AXA IM Alts manages over €12 bn of assets in Germany across multiple asset classes, in both investment and development mandates, mainly focused in the core metropolitan areas. The firm has completed several significant transactions in Germany in 2021 on behalf of clients, including the recent €185 mln commitment to develop a sustainable hybrid timber office in Munich and the acquisition of a 15,000 m2 office building in a major Berlin innovation and growth cluster.


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