BlackRock has hired Thomas Müller in a newly created role as managing director and portfolio manager of its European real estate business.
Based in London, he will work with BlackRock teams in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark and Poland on real estate strategies involving repositioning, rebuilding and recapitalising properties.
Müller previously worked as head of European real estate primaries and directs at private markets investment manager, Partners Group. He has also spent time as a principal banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and as a senior associate for private equity and real estate, at law firm Baker & McKenzie.
Tom Lee, BlackRock's head of European real estate, says: "Real estate is a critical component of many institutional portfolios and we are seeing increased investor demand for European real estate exposures that provide income and capital growth."
A recent poll of 169 of BlackRock's largest institutional clients, representing $8 trillion (€7 trillion) in assets, found that investors plan to make a significant shift into alternative investments in 2015, with 50% of respondents anticipating increasing allocations to real estate this year, and only 5% expecting to decrease allocations.
Lee adds: "Many institutions see strong relative value in real estate compared to other assets like bonds and equities. Prime office yields are attractive compared to 'risk-free' bond rates, and consequently many investors are looking to add real estate exposure this year."
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