Credit Suisse hires Deutsche Bank executives for new Australian real estate business

New business will span investment banking, capital markets and sales & trading
Credit Suisse is setting up a significant real estate business within its Australian investment banking division and has hired five senior executives from Deutsche Bank to form the basis of the new team. Based in Sydney, they will cover investment banking, capital markets and sales & trading and will complement the bankÆs new property research team created only last month.

The new hires include: David Dixon and Stephen Burns, who were co-heads of Deutsche BankÆs real estate advisory team; Chris Bedingfield; John Barker and Jason Cooper. Together they have been regarded as leaders in the Australian real estate industry for more than a decade, according to a Credit Suisse release.

Credit Suisse has been an active player in the Australian market over the past year with significant advisory and underwriting roles within the energy sector in particular. However, the absence of a dedicated real estate banking team has meant the bank has missed out on a sector that has long been an important component of the domestic market.

Credit Suisse says the real estate business aims to meet strong demand from both domestic and international clients for expertise in this rapidly expanding part of the market and will enable the bank to leverage its strong global real estate and leveraged finance platforms to provide financial advice, capital market solutions and distribution capabilities.

ôThis has become critically important given the increased sophistication and complexity of AustraliaÆs real estate industry, brought about by its expansion into highly competitive foreign markets funded with increased leverage,ö says Rob Stewart, managing director and head of the Australian investment banking business.

Equity capital market transactions within the real estate space accounted for $5.76 billion, or 22% of the overall Australian ECM market in 2005, up from $3.10 billion, or 13% of the market in 2004, according to Dealogic.

The real estate sector accounted for 42% of the M&A market in 2004 due to $21.6 billion worth of deals by the Westfield Group - which the Deutsche Bank hires were involved in and 18% last year.

Deutsche Bank ranked fourth in the ECM league tables for Australian real estate-related deals last year with a 14% market share and fifth in the M&A tables.

According to the release, the five new hires have advised on mergers and acquisitions with a total value of more than A$60 billion ($43 billion). They have also been involved in capital market transactions totaling about A$10 billion over the past 18 months alone.

Last month, Credit Suisse set up a property research team under the leadership of Andrew Rosivach to provide comprehensive coverage of the Australian listed property trust (LPT) sector, including comparative analysis of the Australian and US real estate sectors.

Deutsche Bank has already made two internal hires to fill the vacancies and said it consided this a good opportunity to promote a new generation within its real estate group in Australia.

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