Debt funds were the main driver of hiring activity across the European commercial real estate debt market in 2018, accounting for nearly half of all market moves, according to a report from recruitment firm Paragon Search Partners.
A combination of debt fund start-ups, newly created roles at expanding platforms and replacement hires drove the proportion of debt fund hires to 49 percent of the overall market – up from 37 percent in 2017 – Paragon’s research, drawn from more than 150 front office market moves, shows.
By contrast, debt advisory firms saw a sharp drop from 16 percent in 2017 to 6 percent 2018, despite a number of high-profile hires for debt origination, including former Royal Bank of Scotland banker Chiara Zuccon and former director at DWS Richard Day, who moved to CBRE in November and July respectively; and Dave Barry, previously head of UK debt advisory at BNP Paribas, who moved to JLL in March last year.
Although hiring activity at investment banks nearly doubled year-on-year, it only accounted for 7 percent of all real estate debt personnel moves. The vast majority of hires at these banks were replacements at associate and vice-president level, poached from rival investment banks.
Meanwhile, hiring by commercial banks accounted for 11 percent of all market moves, down from 14 percent in 2017. Leavers at these banks were typically replaced internally, if at all, Paragon said. Hiring of real estate debt professionals by private equity firms increased marginally, edging towards 10 percent of all market moves.