AXA IM Alts hires Philippe Grasser to lead German business

AXA IM Alts hires Philippe Grasser to lead German business

AXA IM Alts has appointed Philippe Grasser as Managing Director, Germany.

Philippe Grasser replaces Christoph Mölleken, who has decided to retire after nearly 30 successful years at AXA IM Alts and will leave the company by the end of October 2021.

Grasser, who brings over 30 years of pan-European real estate and corporate finance experience, will be based in Frankfurt. He will be responsible for the overall operation of the Real Assets business in Germany, devising and implementing the in-country strategic direction and further developing the AXA IM Alts’ platform in the market.

As one of the largest real estate markets in Europe, Germany is a key priority for AXA IM Alts’ Real Assets business, where it manages over €12 billion of assets across multiple asset classes, in both investment and development mandates, predominantly focused in the core metropolitan areas.

AXA IM Alts has completed several significant transactions in Germany in 2021 on behalf of clients, including the recent €185 million commitment to develop a sustainable hybrid timber office in Munich and the acquisition of a 15,000 sqm office building in a major Berlin innovation and growth cluster.

Prior to joining AXA IM Alts, Philippe Grasser spent nearly seven years at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), most latterly as Acting Head 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. Philippe holds an MBA from Insead and a master’s degree in Business/Managerial Economics from ESCP Europe.

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.”

Philippe Grasser added: “Having admired from afar the significant growth and evolution of the AXA IM Alts platform and the vision of its leadership, I am incredibly excited by this opportunity, in what is one of the major real estate markets globally. The growth of the German business of AXA IM Alts to date and its market leading reputation is testament to the strength of the team. I look forward to working alongside them to continue delivering value and growing the platform in line with the strategic direction of AXA IM Alts, for the benefit of clients.”