Mesirow Institutional Real Estate Direct Promotes Ben Blakney to President

“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.”

IRED is an integral part of Mesirow’s Global Investment Management division, with $3.4 billion in AUM, and has invested in approximately 34,000 multi-family units in 23 cities nationwide. Assets are diversified across suburban and urban properties and US geographic regions, as well as by construction type and vintage year. By design, the properties acquired share close proximity to public transit and are all located in areas with significant differentials between costs-to-own and costs-to-rent.

“I am humbled to take on this significant responsibility,” said Ben 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, Ben 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. Ben earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About Mesirow Financial

Mesirow is an independent, employee-owned financial services firm founded in 1937. Headquartered in Chicago with offices around the world, we serve clients through a personal, custom approach to reaching financial goals and acting as a force for social good. With capabilities spanning Global Investment Management, Capital Markets & Investment Banking, and Advisory Services, we invest in what matters: our clients, our communities, and our culture. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.

Mesirow was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune and one of the Top Places to Work by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Michael Herley | 203.308.1409