Allianz Real Estate, the EUR63.5 billion real estate investment and asset manager of the Allianz Group, is to open an office in London this June to support its growing assets in this gateway city and strengthen its global footprint in areas where key partners are located.
The new office will help drive origination and partner management for more complex cross border equity deals in Europe as well as the origination of Pan European debt activity where the asset or borrower sits in the UK. It will also help develop third party relationships with institutional investors based in London.
The firm has appointed Kari Pitkin as Head of Business Development across Europe, reporting to Olivier Teran, CIO. With 20 years of investment banking experience in the EMEA region, Kari will join Allianz Real Estate on 1st June from Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she held the position of Head of EMEA Real Estate & Lodging, having joined the firm in 2005. It has also appointed Shripal Shah as Head of Debt Origination - London, to lead the team serving UK and Pan European clients. Shripal will join on 1st August and report to Roland Fuchs, Head of European Debt. Since 2002 Shripal covered senior positions in international real estate banking at Barclays Bank and HSBC before joining JCRA, where he has been Head of Real Estate since 2016.
London has become an increasingly significant market for Allianz Real Estate over the past two years, during which time it has completed a number of high-profile transactions.
In February this year, the firm announced the acquisition of the Paul St East student accommodation alongside Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC and Public Sector Pension Investment Board. In April, the firm financed Southbank Central for c. EUR200 million for an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, with Allianz as sole lender. This transaction represented a further London prime debt investment following financing for St Katharine Docks, 80 Fenchurch Street and 55 Baker Street.
“Allianz Real Estate is committed to developing its portfolio in the UK. We have been successfully growing our assets in this market since 2017 but to enhance this further we have decided to open an office in London. London remains highly influential in a European and global context, and we believe there are excellent opportunities for growth and increased capital allocation,” said Francois Trausch, Chief Executive Officer, Allianz Real Estate. “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Kari and Shripal to the team. Their deep experience will be instrumental in driving our origination and partnerships activities.”
“London has become a prime debt market for us and we have a large, growing number of partnerships with stakeholders based in the city. The success of our recently launched Luxembourg regulated European debt platform, which has included deals in the UK, and our related push into third party funds in 2019 means now is a very appropriate time to expand our presence further,” said Roland Fuchs, Head of European Debt, Allianz Real Estate.