Mesirow Institutional Real Estate Direct (IRED) has elevated Ben Blakney to president, effective November 1, 2020. Based in Chicago, Blakney has held numerous senior positions within the multifamily value-added real estate team since joining Mesirow Financial in 2014.
“Ben has been integral to our success, and we are thrilled to promote him to this important position,” said Alasdair Cripps, CEO and co-chief investment officer for IRED. “His experience, perspective and leadership in this expanded role will be critical as we continue to grow our platform and deliver on our commitment to our valued capital partners.”
Prior to this promotion, Blakney most recently served as senior managing director and head of strategic solutions, where he led the development and implementation of client solutions and supported the group’s growth efforts. IRED is an integral part of Mesirow’s Global Investment Management division, with $3.4 billion in assets under management, and has invested in approximately 34,000 multifamily units in 23 cities nationwide.
“I am humbled to take on this significant responsibility,” said Blakney. “It has been an incredible honor to work with Alasdair and the talented IRED team that he has assembled to support the goals and objectives of our investors over the past six years. The challenges and opportunities within our industry are dynamic, and I look forward to helping shape our strategic path forward.”
Before joining Mesirow, Blakney was a managing director at Courtland Partners, Ltd. Before that, he held several senior positions, including director of institutional funds for the Dilweg Companies, president of NCM Capital, treasurer of the City of Philadelphia, and chairman of the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement. Ben is an active member of the Pension Real Estate Association, the Real Estate Executive Council, and the National Association of Securities Professionals. Blakney earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.