Blair Lewis, the former CEO of Hatfield Philips International which was acquired from Starwood by Situs late last year, has left the merged company.
Lewis said that the integration of the HPI and Situs real estate debt advisory businesses was “well on the road to being completed” and he had decided to take some time with his family before pursuing his next opportunities.
“I am very proud to have worked with some great professionals over the last three years and to have assisted two prestigious companies, Starwood Property Trust and Situs, in meeting their strategic objectives,” Lewis said.
He was appointed by Starwood chairman Barry Sternlicht and took on the leadership at HPI at the start of 2014 with the aim of broadening its service lines to shrink its reliance on CRE special servicing. He told Real Estate Capital last November when the deal with Situs completed, that after increasing revenue from non-performing loan advisory, NPL and special servicing revenue was “pretty evenly matched.”
“Blair is a great leader and Situs was fortunate to have the benefit of his experience and guidance during the acquisition, and through the integration,” said Nick Rudenstine, president of Situs. “We are grateful for his many contributions to the combined business and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Last October, Houston-headquartered Situs appointed former Valad director Christian Bearman as its new European chief executive to replace Texan Bruce Nelson, who retired.
Starwood’s sale of HPI had not been a surprise to other debt advisory and servicing firms. The US private equity giant acquired the European business as part of a larger deal to buy US debt firm LNR. Lewis’s strategic objective was assumed to be to prepare the firm for sale.
Before taking on HPI, Lewis was the head of the non-core real estate portfolio in the UK and Europe for Royal Bank of Scotland.