Global financial services major Morgan Stanley has appointed Shirish B. Godbole as India head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI), its global real estate investment management arm. Godbole, who had worked for Morgan Stanley for 13 years before quitting in 2007, will be based in Mumbai.

The appointment marks the return of Godbole to Morgan Stanley. He had first joined the firm in 1994 in the securitised products group in New York and moved to London in 2000 as the chief financial officer (CFO) of MSREI, Europe. In 2004, he became co-head of Morgan Stanley’s commercial real estate finance business in Europe. Godbole returned to India in 2007 and joined Goldman Sachs’ Real Estate Principal Investments group. Most recently, he was a director at Tricone Advisory & Consulting.

Godbole began his career in Boston with AEW Capital Management, a pension fund advisor. He had done his MBA from Northeastern University and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Bombay.

Since 2006, Morgan Stanley Real Estate has invested both in property companies and projects in several markets throughout the country. Entity-level investments include stakes in Oberoi Realty (which was listed last year), Pune’s Panchshil Realty, Delhi’s Alpha G:Corp Development and Bangalore’s Mantri Developers.

Godbole’s appointment comes as Morgan Stanley’s previous India head Naresh Naik recently left to set up his own fund. Naik is raising a domestic and overseas fund to invest in residential and commercial real estate projects in India. He has been joined by Robert Naso, head of asset management at Morgan Stanley Real Estate (Asia-Pacific).

Olivier de Poulpiquet, global co-head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate, also moved to Asia earlier this year.

“India has been a major market within our Asia real estate investing platform for over six years and is a country where we continue to see significant investment opportunities,” said Hoke Slaughter, Asia head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing. “We are delighted to have Shirish back with the team to lead MSREI India. His global and local experience will be invaluable as we continue to grow our business here and across the region.”

“Real estate investing is an important component of our India platform,” said P. Jayendra Nayak, CEO and country head for Morgan Stanley India. “Through our real estate investing team, our other investing platforms and through the funds we manage, we will continue to invest in India and partner with successful local growth companies.”

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