Harrison Street appoints MD and Head of Canadian Transactions

Harrison Street, an investment management firms focused exclusively on alternative real assets, has appointed Jonathan Turnbull as Managing Director, Head of Canadian Transactions and Business Development. 

In this new role, Turnbull will be responsible for sourcing, analysing and closing joint venture partnerships and Canadian investments, and is based in Toronto.

Turnbull brings more than 30 years of infrastructure and real estate investment experience and proven capital raising capabilities to Harrison Street. He was most recently Managing Partner at Alignvest Student Housing where he oversaw the development, launch, transaction sourcing, financing and property management of the first dedicated Canadian student housing investment vehicle. He also served as a Trustee of the real estate investment trust and a Partner of the General Partner.   
Christopher Merrill, Harrison Street’s Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, says: “We are thrilled to welcome Jonathan to Harrison Street as we continue to expand our global platform and add senior investment and business development talent. Jonathan’s strengths and deep understanding of the Canadian real estate and infrastructure sectors are highly complementary with Harrison Street’s strategy and the value we seek to deliver to our investors and partners around the world.”
Merrill adds: “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Harrison Street continues to invest in its people and platform globally. Moreover, I am proud of the resiliency of our dedicated team and unwavering support for our world-class partners and operators. Through active management and drawing on more than 15 years of investing across cycles, our portfolio is built to withstand periods of uncertainty.  I am proud of our track record of identifying attractive opportunities and delivering for our partners and clients alike.” 
Prior to joining Alignvest, Turnbull founded Dundee Private Equity and was Chief Executive Officer of Dundee Acquisition Inc, the first Canadian special purpose acquisition company.  He was responsible for securing over USD400 million in student housing transactions and overseeing all Dundee Acquisition purpose-built student accommodation activity. Previously, Turnbull spent over 20 years managing and executing infrastructure investment, corporate and investment banking, equity capital markets and debt capital markets businesses for Salomon Brothers and Citigroup in New York and London. Turnbull holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.
Last year, Harrison Street formed a joint venture to acquire, develop, and redevelop self-storage assets in the Greater Toronto Metropolitan Area.  In September 2019, the JV acquired a 94,870 square foot self-storage development located near a new central business district currently under development in Vaughan, Ontario.  Vaughn is an affluent area with high barriers to entry and has seen favourable population growth in the recent years.
Turnbull’s hiring follows the recent addition of Paul Bashir to the London office as Chief Executive Officer of the firm’s European Business.