CAPRA hires debt specialist Holmes from JLL – exclusive

Chris Holmes will focus on raising and restructuring real estate debt for clients of the London-based capital advisory firm.

Real estate corporate finance advisory firm CAPRA Global Partners has hired Chris Holmes, the former head of UK debt advisory at property consultancy JLL, Real Estate Capital can reveal.

The appointment of Holmes represents a significant expansion of London-based CAPRA’s real estate debt advisory business, which was launched in 2016 following the hiring of Luca Giangolini, who led property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield’s London-based corporate finance division between 2004 and 2014.

Prior to hiring Giangolini, CAPRA, which was formed in 2012 by chief executive Anthony Biddulph and partner Nick Ridgewell, had focused on raising equity for real estate fund managers.

Holmes: joined CAPRA from JLL

Holmes will work alongside Giangolini and focus on serving clients requesting debt-raising and restructuring advice. Holmes, who had led JLL’s UK debt advisory unit since September 2013, said the opportunity to work within a growing boutique firm was part of the appeal of joining CAPRA.

CAPRA’s debt team has four dedicated fee-earners, plus shared resource with other parts of the business. In contrast, JLL’s recent acquisition of US-headquartered capital markets advisor HFF, which closed in July, created a business with 3,700 capital markets professionals globally, including a large debt advisory unit.

Holmes said he had admired CAPRA’s progress as the team built the business during the last eight years. “Their focus on full service advisory and a thorough investment banking style process make for a compelling offering to clients,” he said.

Holmes was formerly a real estate banker. He was a managing director, based in London, for Italian banking group UniCredit from January 2004 to May 2012, where he worked on both new loans and recovery and restructuring. From 1999 to 2003, he was vice-president at Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse, also based in London, where he focused on CMBS in the fixed income division.

Commenting on the hiring of Holmes, Giangolini said: “With an increasingly diverse universe of active lenders, many borrowers require specialist expertise to source an optimal capital structure with lenders who can offer the flexibility required to help them achieve their business plans and create value.”