SoCal Industry Roundup: CGI and BH Properties Bolster Executive Leadership

JLL also announced more changes to its ranks


Some real estate firms and brokerages are bulking up their executive ranks in Southern California.

CGI Real Estate Investment Strategies announced that luxury hotel veteran Kasia Mays will be its next chief operating officer. Mays will help advance CGI’s plans to build a multifamily brand that emphasizes lifestyle and hospitality. In prepared remarks, CEO Gidi Cohen said the goal was to “bring on a (COO) who could help us in our mission to shape and elevate the future of living spaces.”

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Mays has nearly 20 years of experience in the high-end hospitality sector. She will lead CGI’s culture, brand and mission, as well as all marketing and public relations strategies, human resources, front office, IT and investor relations. She will also oversee Bread and Salt Hospitality, an affiliate of CGI that provides hospitality-style management for its own portfolio and for third-party clients.

Los Angeles-based CGI is a boutique real estate investment firm that manages a $900 million portfolio, including multifamily and extended-stay corporate housing in California, New York and key cities in the Southeast and Southwest.

Investment firm BH Properties also announced a new addition with Erik Svensson joining as senior managing director and chief financial officer. Svensson has about 30 years of real estate experience, and he was most recently vice president of acquisitions for Public Storage, where he spent 10 years managing the firm’s portfolio. He also previously worked as senior vice president and CFO of L.A.-based investment firm Watt Companies.

“Despite current market conditions, [BH Properties is] not slowing down, having added additional resources to drive new acquisitions and opportunities,” Svensson said in a statement. 

Svensson is BH Properties’ third major hire in 12 months. Earlier this year, Rowan Sbaiti, a vice president with global investment firm Fortress Investment Group, joined as senior managing director of acquisitions. Last year, Jim Brooks joined the company after time with Topa Management Company, Morgan Stanley (MS) Real Estate Fund, The Koll Company and Tishman Speyer Properties.

BH Properties was founded in 1993 by Steve Gozini, and currently owns and operates nearly 10 million square feet across 19 states.

JLL (JLL) announced it hired Mike Bammel to be a managing director and the national head of its renewable energy valuation team. He will be based in L.A.

Bammel will institute best practices for renewable energy project valuations, which include services for tax investments like equity partnerships and lease transactions, as well as valuations for portfolio assets, the brokerage said. Bammel will also work with David Dominy, another managing director, to enhance the coverage for JLL’s infrastructure platform.

Bammel comes to JLL with 33 years of experience, which includes sourcing renewable energy project investment opportunities, renewable energy development and consulting, business development, structured finance, valuation management, and more. He recently helped build a valuation practice that had nearly $100 billion in transactions, of which approximately $70 billion relates to renewable energy projects.