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Dennis Mitchell named CEO of new Starlight Capital venture

Starlight Investments has created a real estate securities investment platform called Starlight C...

Starlight Investments has created a real estate securities investment platform called Starlight Capital, which will be headed by chief executive officer and chief investment officer Dennis Mitchell.

Dennis Mitchell is the CEO and CIO of the newly created Starlight Capital. (Image courtesy Starlight)

Dennis Mitchell is the CEO and CIO of the newly created Starlight Capital. (Image courtesy Starlight)

“Starlight Investments’ strategic plan includes disciplined growth of assets under management, including a real estate securities business, and that happens to be one of my strengths as a portfolio manager,” Mitchell told RENX.

Mitchell has known Starlight Investments president and chief executive officer Daniel Drimmer since the initial public offering of TransGlobe Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust in 2010. TransGlobe was privatized by Starlight Investments in 2012.

Starlight Investments is a Toronto-based, privately held, full-service real estate investment and asset management company that has more than 130 employees.

Starlight Investments has more than $8 billion in assets under management, including strategic relationships with pension plan partners, prominent family offices and publicly listed entities. Mitchell said his subsidiary will have access to sufficient capital to meet both regulatory and business development requirements.

Regulatory approvals are being sought and Mitchell doesn’t anticipate any issues or delays.

Starlight Capital’s mandate

Starlight Capital will actively invest in global real estate securities while offering a range of publicly listed and private real estate investment products and portfolio management services.

“We expect to announce one of our strategies in the near future,” said Mitchell. “However, if you review my investment record you will see that I have historically invested in global real estate securities in all sectors in many developed markets.”

Starlight Capital will also be involved in investment solutions that combine the real estate securities investment expertise of the new platform with Starlight Investments’ existing North American real estate asset management platform. Starlight Investments is focused on Canadian and American multi-family and Canadian commercial properties.

“We hope to capitalize on the natural synergies, including those that are created when direct real estate investments are paired with publicly traded real estate securities,” said Mitchell.

Dennis Mitchell’s background

Mitchell has more than 15 years of experience in the investment industry, most recently at Sprott Asset Management, where he was senior vice-president and senior portfolio manager of several funds. Mitchell left Sprott in August after the firm was sold to John Wilson and James Fox.

“Initially I took some time off and travelled with my children,” said Mitchell. “In the fall, I began to seriously review my options and quickly identified this opportunity as the one that most attracted me.”

Mitchell was previously executive vice-president and chief investment officer of Sentry Investments, where he oversaw the firm’s investment management team and investment funds.

Mitchell received the Brendan Wood International Canadian TopGun Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011, as well as the Brendan Wood International 2012 Canadian TopGun Team Leader Award.

He has a chartered financial analyst designation. He earned a master of business administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University in 2002 and an honours bachelor of business administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1998.

Graeme Llewellyn and future hires

Meanwhile, Graeme Llewellyn has been named Starlight Capital’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer. He has more than 15 years in the asset management industry and most recently served as vice-president and chief operating officer of Sentry Investments.

He holds a chartered professional accountant designation and earned a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Toronto’s Rotman Commerce program.

“Graeme and I have been friends since elementary school, and we worked together at Sentry Investments for a decade,” said Mitchell.

“His knowledge and skill set gained helping to build Sentry from 40 employees and $4 billion in assets under management to 250 employees and over $18 billion in assets under management is invaluable and will ensure that Starlight Capital runs smoothly for all stakeholders.

“His work ethic and integrity are inspiring, and I’m excited to partner with Graeme on this new endeavour.”

While Starlight Capital will leverage some of Starlight Investments’ relationships and infrastructure, Mitchell said he and Llewellyn are “recruiting a number of people into very specific roles and, when we are ready to launch our first product, we will have a full team to work with.”

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