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HFF bolsters London team with debt hire

US real estate brokerage HFF has added a debt specialist to its recently-launched London business with the hiring of Edward Daubeney from Cushman & Wakefield, Real Estate Capital has learned.

US real estate brokerage HFF has added a debt specialist to its recently launched London business with the hiring of Edward Daubeney from Cushman & Wakefield, Real Estate Capital has learned.

Daubeney, who is due to join HFF at managing director level, was previously head of debt advisory within Cushman’s debt and structured finance division. His role at HFF is expected to focus on arranging property finance for the firm’s borrower clients, reporting to debt specialist Michael Kavanau, co-head of the London office.

Edward Daubeney

The expansion of HFF – one of the largest property brokers in the US – into the European market was long anticipated before it made the acquisition in November 2016 of London-based advisory firm Leon Partners, which focused on investment banking and corporate finance.

Former Bank of America Merrill Lynch bankers David Church and Raj Somchand, who founded Leon Partners, joined HFF to lead the investment banking business, while Kavanau relocated from HFF’s Chicago office, which he previously led.

Daubeney is the latest in a series of senior appointments as HFF makes inroads into the UK market. In May, Jamie Pope and John Starkie joined from CBRE to focus on investment advisory.

On the debt side, the firm hired director Claudio Sgobba from JLL in April, prior to which Brad Greenway relocated from the Los Angeles office.

HFF’s London branch is aiming to provide a full range of commercial real estate capital markets services, including debt and equity placement, which will focus on advising borrowers. In recent years, fellow US adviser Eastdil Secured has become a major player in the market, and several property consultancy firms and loan servicers have expanded into real estate debt advisory.

Daubeney worked at DTZ as head of debt advisory from 2013, prior to the firm’s merger with Cushman & Wakefield in September 2015. Prior to that, he had been a partner in Cushman’s EMEA corporate finance division since 2006.

Cushman & Wakefield established its debt and structured finance business in 2016, hiring former GE Capital head of debt origination James Spencer-Jones last June as its head of the unit in EMEA. In February 2017, the firm hired real estate capital markets specialist Ritesh Ramchandani from real estate private equity firm Landmark Partners.

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