Jürgen Fenk, one of the best-respected real estate finance leaders in Germany, is to leave his position on Helaba’s board of managing directors next September to pursue other roles in real estate.
A statement this morning said that Fenk, who is responsible for the German landesbank’s real estate lending and real estate management divisions, “will leave the board of managing directors at his own request and with the full support of his fellow board members when his mandate expires on 30 September 2017.
“An internationally recognised real estate expert, he now wishes to explore new challenges in the real estate business.”
Helaba’s president, Gerhard Grandke, said he greatly regretted “the impending loss”. He added: “Helaba’s real estate lending business has done very well indeed in the national and international markets under the leadership of Jürgen Fenk and he has made a valuable and lasting contribution to the bank’s bottom line. I would like to thank Mr Fenk for his outstanding efforts and wish him every success for the future.”
Helaba is one of the top three German real estate banks in terms of lending in Germany and the other key European markets, along with pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and Aareal.
Fenk, who is 50, re-joined Helaba in 2012 from Austrian bank Bawag to take up the top real estate post after Johann Berger left.
Fenk had previously joined Helaba from Hypo Real Estate’s New York office in July 2009 as head of real estate finance, but he left a year later in August 2010 because, sources say, at the time he did not find Helaba a conducive cultural fit.
At Bawag, which was new to CRE finance and with a very much smaller team, Fenk was able to be more entrepreneurial, frequently working on deals as well as leading and establishing the real estate finance business.
He has also previously launched and managed a publicly-traded commercial mortgage REIT during his career.
In the last four years on Helaba’s management board he has been in a position to direct CRE strategy. One of the recent changes he saw through was implementing a more active approach to balance sheet management through increasing the level of distribution. He persuaded Renaud Jezequel to join the bank as head of France when Roland Fuchs left to head up Allianz’s CRE lending business.
Helaba also announced that chief risk officer Thomas Gross would serve a further term and that Hans-Dieter Kemler has been appointed to the board to assume responsibility for capital markets, treasury and asset management divisions after Rainer Krick left for health reasons. Kemler previously worked at Commerzbank.