Founded in 2011, ACRE is a global real estate private equity firm managing capital for institutional and family office investors through a series of private equity and debt funds with AUM exceeding $2.1 billion.

A specialist investor in multifamily housing with a vertically integrated platform, ACRE’s strategies focus on direct real estate equity and credit investments and are concentrated in the United States, with additional properties currently in development in Southeast Asia and the United Kingdom.

Since inception, ACRE has acquired, operated, developed and made loans on over 22,000 apartments across 75 properties and 31 cities.









Les Menkes Founding Partner NEW YORK

Les Menkes is a Founding Partner of ACRE and oversees the firm’s management by directing overall strategy and operations, including all aspects of its capital raising and investment activities. Mr. Menkes has more than 30 years of global investing and capital markets experience. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley for over 24 years, the majority of which he spent building and leading the firm’s private banking business in Asia. Mr. Menkes built and led businesses in southeast Asia, India, Australia and China and served on the Executive Committee for the International Business. He spent over 26 years living in Hong Kong and Singapore and maintains strong relationships in the region.

Mr. Menkes holds a B.S. from Alfred University and was a developer of the curriculum and a lecturer at the Singapore Management University’s Masters in Wealth Management program. He is a member of both the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Urban Land Institute (ULI) and sits on the Global Exchange Council of the ULI.

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Michael Van Der Poel is a Founding Partner of ACRE and oversees the firm’s management and operations including leading strategic transactions, principal investments and portfolio management. Mr. Van Der Poel sits on ACRE’s Investment Committee and spearheads ACRE’s credit vertical along with the firm’s continued expansion into the United Kingdom.

He has over 20 years of experience in international real estate markets, having lived and worked in the United States, Asia and Europe. Mr. Van Der Poel has successfully invested in institutional real estate and CRE-related transactions globally and is proficient across a variety of asset classes, jurisdictions and sectors in all aspects of the capital stack.

Mr. Van Der Poel was born in South Africa and completed a B.S. at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

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Blake Olafson is a Founding Partner of ACRE and has spent 28 years in the real estate industry covering all aspects of the direct investment process including origination, underwriting, risk control, and creation of unique deal structures and exits. Mr. Olafson is responsible for the expansion of ACRE’s platform in southeast Asia and oversees ACRE’s flagship developments in Thailand and Indonesia. Prior to ACRE, he was Head of Asian Real Estate at Arcapita, where he was responsible for a $1.8 billion Asian real estate portfolio.

Previously, Mr. Olafson spent several years at Lehman Brothers as a Senior Vice President responsible for principal real estate investments in Asia. Mr. Olafson has been an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), where he currently serves as a Global Governing Trustee in addition to previously serving as Chairman of ULI Singapore and a member of the Executive Committee of ULI Asia. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master’s degree in Real Estate Development.

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Deal Team
Daniel Jacobs Senior Vice President New York

Daniel Jacobs is a Senior Vice President and leads origination efforts for ACRE’s equity, credit and special situation platforms. Within the credit platform, Mr. Jacobs has originated, syndicated, underwritten and executed over $225 million of multifamily direct lending opportunities since joining the firm.

Previously, he was a Vice President at Medley Capital, a $5 billion diversified credit investment firm focused on senior secured and mezzanine loans. Mr. Jacobs has extensive CRE relationships and has originated, underwritten, executed and managed a portfolio of over $500 million of direct real estate loans ranging from first mortgages to mezzanine debt to preferred equity investments across all asset classes.

Prior to joining Medley Capital, he was an Analyst in Wells Fargo’s Real Estate Banking Group, managing and monitoring the performance of a $2 billion real estate loan portfolio. Mr. Jacobs graduated with a B.S. in Finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and attended the University of Sydney.

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Lauren Villano Senior Associate New York

Lauren Villano is a Senior Associate responsible for credit underwriting, capital markets management, deal originations and transaction closings. Ms. Villano has more than six years of experience in due diligence, underwriting, structuring, and deal management for over $1 billion of CRE debt opportunities for all asset classes across the U.S. Her transaction exposure ranges from stabilized strategies for core assets to extensive development, repositioning, and leasing strategies for transitional assets. Prior to joining ACRE in 2020, Ms. Villano was an Associate at Guggenheim Partners, where she was responsible for transaction management, underwriting and credit analysis. Previously, she was an analyst at Cantor Commercial Real Estate (CCRE) where she primarily focused on permanent financings for conduit execution.

Ms. Villano earned a B.A. in Economics with a minor in real estate from Cornell University. She is currently an M.B.A. candidate at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and is a member of Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Cornell Real Estate Council (CREC).

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Sam Browne Senior Associate New York

Sam Browne is a Senior Associate responsible for credit underwriting, managing capital markets, deal closings, and market research for all new originations and existing portfolio loans, and assists in the originations of new loans. Mr. Browne’s more than five years of experience has included CRE acquisitions, underwriting and lending on over $3.5 billion of investments. Additionally, he has experience in executing CLO securitizations, capital markets, b-piece transactions and asset management.

Prior to joining ACRE in 2019, Mr. Browne was a Senior Real Estate Analyst at Granite Point Mortgage Trust (Pine River Capital Management), where he handled underwriting and new originations for the company’s real estate loan portfolio. Previously, Mr. Browne was an Analyst at Spring11, a subsidiary of Newmark Knight Frank. He graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A., special honors, in Criminal Justice with a Secondary Field of Study in Business. Mr. Browne is actively involved with the GW Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis and The Dalton School.

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Ryan Berger Associate Atlanta

Ryan Berger is an Associate responsible for the sourcing, financial analysis, due diligence, and closing of investment opportunities. Previously, Mr. Berger was an Assistant Vice President at Walker & Dunlop Investment Sales where he participated in the sale of over $5 billion of multifamily transactions across the southeastern United States.

Mr. Berger graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Commerce and a Concentration in Finance and Real Estate. Mr. Berger is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

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Investor Relations
Lee Metz Director New York

Lee Metz joined ACRE in 2020 to lead the firm’s investor relations and business development efforts. Ms. Metz brings over 16 years of financial services experience, including 13 years in the alternative investments space working with institutional investors and sophisticated family offices.

Prior to joining ACRE, she was a Managing Director at EJF Capital, a $7+ billion alternative asset manager specializing in niche and sector-focused event-driven strategies, including opportunistic credit and private fund vehicles. During her nearly six years at EJF, Ms. Metz focused on marketing and investor relations for the firm's multiple strategies and led the firm's marketing efforts for Armadillo Financial, a $750 million private credit strategy focused on litigation finance.

Previously, she spent seven years as Vice President, Investor Relations for Collins Capital Investments, a diversified fund of hedge funds with peak assets of $1.5 billion. Ms. Metz has also held client service positions at Merrill Lynch and Fitzgerald and Company, a diversified marketing and advertising firm. She began her career at Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette's online division, DLJdirect, now E*Trade. Ms. Metz received a B.A., cum laude, in Economics from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business.

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Kimberly Mhanna Senior Associate New York

Kimberly Mhanna joined ACRE in 2020 as a Senior Associate, focusing on business development and investor relations.

Previously, Ms. Mhanna was a Vice President at Sorin Capital, a commercial real estate securities investment firm specializing in CMBS and REITs, where she was responsible for investor relations and business development, and a Vice President of Business Development at Kerrisdale Capital, an event-driven long/short equity hedge fund specializing in research activism. Prior thereto, she was Chief of Staff at Gemini/Winklevoss Capital Management, a cryptocurrency exchange.

Ms. Mhanna began her career working in portfolio manager selection at Millennium Management and manager research at Prelude Capital, a managed account platform. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Economics and is a Level II Candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program.

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Finance & Operations
James Hunt Controller Atlanta

James Hunt is Controller at ACRE and has spent more than a decade working in banking, public accounting, and commercial real estate. Most recently, Mr. Hunt led the accounting oversight for a real estate investment firm specializing multi-family and retail properties in the southeast United States. While there, he implemented processes for client reporting, managed treasury services and oversaw tax and regulatory compliance. Additionally, Mr. Hunt assisted with corporate operations and management.

He is involved in several professional and community organizations including the Georgia Society of CPAs, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of the Coastal Empire. Mr. Hunt is licensed by the state of Georgia as a Certified Public Accountant. He earned a B.B.A. in Finance from Georgia Southern University and completed graduate studies in accounting at Auburn University.

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Bill Doramus Executive Director Hong Kong

Bill Doramus joined ACRE in 2020 to focus on the multifamily real estate business in Asia. Mr. Doramus has more than 16 years of real estate experience in Asia and the United States, including principal investments, capital markets, development and asset management.

Prior to joining ACRE, he was a Director in Crédit Agricole’s Real Estate and Lodging Group in Hong Kong. Mr. Doramus’s previous experience includes positions at Vingroup (Vietnam’s largest listed real estate developer), Lehman Brothers, and Bank of America. Bill received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

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Jeff Goldstein Director of Finance Atlanta

Jeff Goldstein is ACRE’s Director of Finance, primarily responsible for financial reporting, cash management, taxes, insurance, internal technology, corporate finances and operations. Prior to joining ACRE, Mr. Goldstein worked for State Street Bank & Trust as a manager in the Real Estate Fund Administration group where he handled private equity and triple net lease clients. He began his career in PwC’s Boston office in the hedge fund and venture assurance group. Mr. Goldstein graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in Economic History and a Master’s degree in Accountancy.

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Asset Management
Melanie Gersper Chief Operating Officer Atlanta

Melanie Gersper is ACRE’s Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Gersper is responsible for oversight of property management (inclusive of marketing, facilities, recruiting), asset management, and has a meaningful role in acquisitions and dispositions. Her work history includes operating large portfolios of owned and fee-managed assets, both stabilized and new development, in several markets.

Ms. Gersper’s previous positions include COO at CFLane, Senior Vice President of Operations at Bell Partners, President of Operations for Cortland Partners and Regional Vice President of Lane Company. Earlier accomplishments include serving as Regional Manager, as well as in other capacities, for Gables Residential, which was a publicly-traded REIT at the time. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

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Stephen Collier Asset Manager Atlanta

Stephen Collier is an Asset Manager at ACRE. Mr. Collier has 15 years of experience in US real estate investment management, valuation consulting and banking. He was formerly Vice President at Waypoint Residential, a real estate investment firm focused on acquiring and developing multifamily properties, where he was involved with the acquisition, asset management and disposition of over $1 billion of investments.

Mr. Collier’s previous experience includes roles at BBG Inc., Grubb & Ellis, and Duff & Phelps, and has provided valuation consulting across all types of commercial properties. He began his career at BB&T, where he graduated from the Leadership Development Program and later worked as a Loan Officer within their Commercial Real Estate Group in Atlanta. Mr. Collier received a B.B.A. in General Business from Southern Methodist University and an M.B.A. from The University of Georgia.

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Our officesCONTACT


670 Dekalb Ave, #100,
Atlanta, GA 30312

New York

401 West 14th Street,
4th Floor,
New York, NY 10014


133 Cecil Street,
#06-02 Keck Seng Tower,
Singapore 069535


    Michael Van Der Poel


    Daniel Jacobs

    Investor Inquieres


    Accounting & Finance

    Jeff Goldstein