CBRE Real Estate Finance launches UK regional network

CBRE’s Real Estate Finance (REF) and UK Regional business units have launched a new service line to help clients with regional assets access advice on the financing of properties and structuring.

The new initiative has been set up in response to growing demand from owners of regionally based assets for financing advice specifically tailored to key property markets outside of London. CBRE has found that investors want to know more about regional investment opportunities and how to appropriately structure transactions to enable them to access these markets as real estate owners are also continuing to seek access to capital.

The services which will be introduced include:

•Debt Advisory – assisting all property owners in accessing acquisition finance, mezzanine finance and bank support for refinancing and bridge loans;
•Equity Placement– capital raising for JVs, funds and financial modelling;
•Refinancing & Restructuring – utilising REF’s ability to access capital – whether debt or equity; and
•Recovery – REF’s bank advisory capabilities (including LPA in England only).

The team, which is expected to be fully in place by the final quarter of 2011, will incorporate key figures from CBRE's Regional office network and REF, initially in the Birmingham, Manchester and Scottish offices with further regional representation to follow.

Philip Cropper, Managing Director of REF said: “In past cycles, flows of capital to the regions have been restored naturally, but this recovery has seen unprecedented levels of congestion in the debt and equity markets. There are good opportunities for investment into the regions and we intend to introduce these to existing and new players who are perhaps investing into the UK for the first time.”

To further support this initiative, two personnel changes have been made:

•Doug Smith, Chairman of Scotland, will now split his time equally between CBRE’s REF headquarters in London and the Scottish business, heading up this initiative and overseeing the co-ordination and service delivery for the new teams.

•Iain Selbie, an Associate in the Valuation Consultancy team in Manchester, has joined REF on secondment.

Doug Smith added: “The need for capital and advice on how to access this in the UK’s regional property markets is high at the moment. At CBRE, we want to be offering best-in-class finance in the regions, offering, for example, in Scotland, Manchester and Birmingham what we have been doing successfully for clients in London for some time. There is huge demand for this kind of expertise and we are already working on a number of mandates together and look forward to growing this collaborative platform over the remainder of the year and into the future.”