Harrison Street appoints new CEO

Harrison Street, an investment management firm focused on alternative real assets, has hired Paul Bashir as chief executive officer of the firm’s European business, effective 1 June 2020.

Bashir was most recently president and chief operating officer at Round Hill Capital, a real estate investment and asset management firm.

In this new role, Bashir will lead the expansion of Harrison Street’s strategies which focus on investments in student housing, build-to-rent, and healthcare real estate. He will also be responsible for overseeing and growing the firm’s talented team of professionals across the UK and Europe. Bashir will be based in London and report to Robert Mathias, partner and head of Harrison Street’s international business.

Bashir brings over 20 years of experience in private equity real estate, operations, and corporate finance to Harrison Street. While at Round Hill, he managed a business with a USD8 billion portfolio as well as a team of 260 people across 15 offices in 14 countries. He has overseen investment and development projects, regulatory approvals, complex refinancings, and capital raises in multiple European locations across a wide array of real estate asset sectors including retail, commercial, residential, and student housing. 

Mathias says: “We are thrilled to welcome an executive of Paul’s calibre to Harrison Street as we continue to scale our growing European platform, expand our world-class team and drive attractive investment opportunities for our global investors. Paul is a proven leader whose diverse skill set, investing acumen, network of industry relationships and deep understanding of Harrison Street’s core sectors, make him the ideal fit to lead the day-to-day growth and execution of our European strategy.”

Christopher Merrill, Harrison Street’s chairman and chief executive officer, adds: “Amid these unprecedented times, Harrison Street is committed to its objective of generating exceptional risk-adjusted performance across cycles globally by investing in needs-based asset classes that it believes are resilient and backed by strong demographics.  We continue to see strong demand for high quality student housing, build-to-rent and life sciences assets in Europe, which are needed now more than ever. Paul is a seasoned and talented investor who shares our values, has a deep understanding of market environments and highly complex situations, and will meaningfully bolster our European capabilities.”

Prior to joining Round Hill, Bashir served as a partner at Aggmore Group, where he was responsible for raising and deploying over EUR500 million of new capital and developed JV partnerships with European operators in the residential and commercial real estate space. Earlier he served as chief operating officer at North Bridge Capital Partners. Bashir began his career at KPMG as a senior manager in the transaction services department. Bashir earned a BA in Accounting and Financial Analysis from Newcastle University. 

Since establishing its European platform in 2015, Harrison Street has invested approximately EUR2.4 billion in the student housing and private rented sectors and most recently entered the European life sciences sector with the acquisition of five life sciences and innovation properties, the largest portfolio of its kind in the UK. In May 2019, Harrison Street announced it raised EUR700 million for its second European closed-end fund. Harrison Street currently manages 11,579 student housing beds, 1,321 build-to-rent units and 1.6 million sq ft of life sciences real estate in Europe.