Harrison Street makes two senior hires

Harrison Street, an investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets, has added two seasoned professionals to its European asset management and transaction teams.

Amy Tonnessen, former Senior Asset Manager at Franklin Templeton Investments, has joined the firm as a Director on the European Asset Management team, and Vanisha Thakrar, who was previously a Senior Associate in Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) real estate investment group, has joined the firm as a Vice President in the Transactions group. Both Tonnessen and Thakrar are based in the firm’s London office.

Christopher Merrill, Harrison Street’s Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, says: “Amid this highly uncertain environment, Harrison Street continues to expand our global platform and add senior talent throughout the organization as evidenced by our recent appointments of Paul Bashir, CEO, Europe, and Jonathan Turnbull, Managing Director and Head of Canadian Transactions.  The additions of Amy and Vanisha strengthen our European team and reflect Harrison Street’s commitment to expanding our presence across the UK, Ireland, and broader continent.” 
Prior to joining Harrison Street, Tonnessen was a Senior Asset Manager at Franklin Templeton Investments, where she was responsible for the management of European properties and for overseeing JV investments. Before joining Franklin Templeton, Tonnessen was a Senior Asset Manager at Heitman in Europe and worked on investments across multiple geographies and property sectors, including self-storage and senior housing.  Tonnessen served in the US Peace Corps in Poland prior to starting her career at Heitman. She graduated from The University of Texas and holds a master’s in business administration from Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.
Thakrar was at CPPIB before joining Harrison Street, where she worked on establishing joint ventures, underwriting new investments and managing CPPIB’s existing investments. Additionally, Thakrar served on the Board of Directors for various JV companies and as a board observer for CPPIB’s student housing platform. Prior to CPPIB, Thakrar was a Vice President on the real estate investment banking team at Macquarie where she focused on M&A transactions, capital raising and principal investments.