09/16/2011

Deutsche Real Estate Chief in Europe Leaving

Cyril Courbage, head of European real estate for Deutsche Bank, is departing, the second London-based securitization pro to exit within a few weeks.

The moves are the latest in a series of personnel changes at the bank following the departure of global real estate chief John Nacos in late March.

Courbage, a managing director who has been with Deutsche for 10 years, will leave in a few weeks. Thereís no word on what his next move will be. The bank has yet to name a replacement.

His resignation comes on the heels of the departure of director Heath Forusz, who headed commercial real estate capital markets for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Forusz, who reported to Courbage, has been replaced by director Bhavesh Patel. Foruszís plans are also unknown.

The shuffling in the senior real estate ranks at Deutsche has come as the bank moves to integrate operations within its global structured credit products group, which is headed by managing director Elad Shraga.

Following the departure of Nacos in March, Deutsche didnít name a new global real estate chief. Courbage remained head of European real estate, and managing director Jonathan Pollack was promoted to head of real estate in the Americas, assuming duties previously held by Nacos.

In May, Deutsche hired Don Belanger to head up commercial real estate financing activities in Europe, reporting to Courbage. Belanger, who is based in London, was previously head of UBSí real estate capital-markets activity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He replaced managing director Chris Dunn, who transferred to the real estate finance unit in New York.

In June, managing director Mark Landau left as head of commercial real estate banking in the Americas. The same month, Ed Adler was hired as head of commercial real estate lending in the U.S., based in New York. He was previously co-head of the U.S. CMBS group at Citigroup.

Deutsche pulled off a coup in June by completing the first mainstream CMBS offering in Europe since 2007. The £302.2 million ($480 million) deal was backed by the senior portion of a £364 million mortgage that Deutsche originated in March for a single borrower ó Blackstone. The fund shop used the proceeds to finance its £480 million acquisition of the 1.2 million-square-foot Chiswick Park office complex in West London. Deutsche placed the junior portion of the loan with GIC, Singaporeís sovereign wealth fund.

The deal was viewed as a key step in the painstakingly slow regeneration of the CMBS market in Europe. Unlike in the U.S., where more than two dozen shops have resumed warehousing loans for securitization, CMBS operations in Europe remain largely in a suspended state.

Deutsche then began amassing European loans for a multi-borrower deal. But the recent market volatility has offered new roadblocks to the economics of securitization, leaving the transactionís fate in doubt. Deutsche appears to have closed a few loans earmarked for the deal. If securitization proves unfeasible, the bank could syndicate the loans.

Itís unclear if the market deterioration played a role in the decisions of Courbage and Forusz to leave. Forusz, for example, worked on pricing and distributing commercial property debt and CMBS ó activities that figure to be limited in coming months.

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