Doughty Hanson is expanding its French real estate business with the appointment of Lahlou Khelifi ahead of launch of a new real estate fund later in the year. Khelifi, 42, is based in Paris and will work closely with John Howard, chief operating officer of Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate. Howard will lead the new fund, Doughty Hanson & Co European Real Estate II, which will have a pan-European investment focus.
Khelifi has more than 15 years experience in the French real estate market. He was previously an executive director at Goldman Sachs, where he was the Whitehall Real Estate Fund representative, responsible for a real estate portfolio in France, Switzerland and Germany. Before that, he was chief operating officer of SEFIMEG, a quoted real estate investment company based in Paris, and has worked as a consultant. “Khelifi’s experience in the value-added sector of the French real estate market will help us capitalise on the opportunities,” said Howard.
Doughty Hanson moved into France with the opening of its Paris office in January 2003. The office is headed by Yann Duchesne, managing director for Doughty Hanson in France. The firm’s first French investment was the acquisition of Saft, a market leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech battery systems for industrial applications. Last month, Saft was recapitalised, returning €175m to investors in Doughty Hanson & Co IV.