Paladin names first COO

The Los Angeles-based real estate fund manager promoted two of its senior partners to newly-created posts.

Paladin Realty Partners has named two of its longtime executives to newly-created roles at the firm. Frederick Gortner, previously a managing director at the firm, now will serve as chief operating officer, while Randall Loker, also a managing director, has been promoted to chief investment officer.

The promotion of Gortner and Loker, which occurred two weeks ago, comes at a time when Paladin has been expanding its footprint in Latin America. Just last month, the firm hired a new investment director, Daniel Takase, at its São Paulo office, and last year opened new offices in Bogota, led by managing director Alejandro Krell, and in Mexico City, led by vice president Santiago Gil.

“For me, the title reflects the role I’ve played for quite some time at Paladin, and going forward, which is wearing multiple hats,” said Gortner. “For Randall, it’s a broadening of his responsibilities, because in addition to being the lead manager for some of our new and existing relationships, we want him to be more active in providing additional oversight in what we’re doing in Colombia, Mexico and other markets.” 

While its overall headcount has remained relatively the same over the past several years, Paladin has been shifting more of its staff and resources into the region, with about two-thirds of its investment team now based in Latin America. It is now 100 percent focused on the region, having sold the last of its US legacy assets earlier this year. Paladin currently has more than 30 employees spanning its Los Angeles headquarters and offices in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and New Jersey. 

Gortner is a founding partner at Paladin, having formed the firm with chairman James Worms and former US Treasury Secretary William Simon in 1995. During his nearly two decades at Paladin, he has been actively involved in acquisitions, asset management, business development, strategic planning, capital raising and administration at the company. Prior to joining Paladin, Gortner served as a principal at two Los Angeles-based real estate companies, Tucker Investment Group and Enterprise Management, in the early 1990s. 

Meanwhile, Loker, also a partner, has become of one of the top investment professionals at Paladin since joining the firm seven years ago. In 2010, he relocated from Los Angeles to Brazil to help open the firm’s new office in São Paulo and has led the expansion of its residential development platforms in Brazil, Chile and Peru. He was promoted from vice president to senior vice president in early 2013 before being promoted again to managing director later in the year. Before coming to Paladin, Loker managed the construction and sales of residential condominium projects in Northern California for US public homebuilder Toll Brothers. 

Paladin currently is investing its fourth Latin America fund, Paladin Realty Latin American Investors IV, which is targeting $400 million in commitments.