Harrison Street continues European expansion with two senior hires

Harrison Street makes two new senior hires – who bring significant European investing and asset management expertise to their growing team.

Sweeney’s Corner BTR and PBSA units - Harrison Street | BTR News
Sweeney’s Corner BTR and PBSA units.

Investment management firm – Harrison Street – who exclusively focus on alternative real assets has announced it 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. 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 Amy and Vanisha are based in the firm’s London office.

“Amid this highly uncertain environment, Harrison Street continues to expand our global platform and add senior talent throughout the organisation as evidenced by our recent appointments of Paul Bashir, CEO, Europe, and Jonathan Turnbull, Managing Director and Head of Canadian Transactions.”

Christopher Merrill, Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Street

Prior to joining Harrison Street, Amy was a Senior Asset Manager at Franklin Templeton Investments. She was responsible for the management of European properties and for overseeing JV investments. Before joining Franklin Templeton, Amy 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. Amy served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Poland prior to starting her career at Heitman and has a master’s in Business Administration.

Vanisha was at CPPIB before joining Harrison Street, where she worked on establishing joint ventures, underwriting new investments and managing CPPIB’s existing investments. She also served on the Board of Directors for various JV companies and as a board observer for CPPIB’s student housing platform. Prior to CPPIB, Vanisha 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. 

“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.” 

Christopher Merrill, Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Street

Harrison Street recently also appointed a real estate veteran to join their team as the Chief Executive Officer of European business. Since establishing its European platform in 2015, Harrison Street manages 1,700 Build to Rent homes – as well as student beds and life sciences real estate.