Helaba has hired Swedish real estate banker Pontus Sundin to head its Stockholm office amid a drive to increase its lending activity in the Nordic region.
Helaba’s new Stockholm office will focus on both local and international clients and will work together with the Nordic team at the bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt.
Last October the bank said of its plans to open in Stockholm: “An additional focus for the new representative office will be supporting medium-sized customers of the savings banks as well as Helaba’s German and Scandinavian corporate customers. Up to now, these customer groups have been served from Frankfurt.”
Sundin has more than 10 years experience as a banker in the Nordic region, working for various institutions in commercial real estate lending functions. Sundin was previously head of investment banking for commercial real estate at Nordea, a role held since October 2011. Prior to that, he was transaction leader for GE Capital between 2007 and 2011 and a portfolio manager at Hypo Real Estate Bank International between 2004 and 2007.
The office is currently located at Östermalmstorg 1 in the Swedish capital. The German bank plans to hire additional staff imminently, prior to its move to a permanent address on Kungsgatan 3 in Q3 2016.
Helaba has provided real estate finance in the Nordic region since 2006, but has only now opened a representative office in the region as it aims to capture more business.
In April, Helaba provided a €74 million loan to Nordic private equity real estate group NREP to finance a mixed-use portfolio of properties located in southern Finland. The portfolio includes most of the Finnish assets in NREP Nordic Strategies Fund, a multi-strategy real estate fund with investments currently totaling €1 billion.
Helaba had a strong year in 2015, matching the €9.8 billion it lent on real estate in 2014 and exceeding its €8 billion target. However, it was one of several German banks that warned in its 2015 results that profits were unlikely to be as high in 2016. Helaba expects to lend between €7 billion and €8 billion on real estate this year.