LBBW promotes Patrick Walcher to lead real estate business

The bank stalwart will head its CRE financing division, replacing Thorsten Schönenberger, who was made director of real estate and project finance in July last year.

German bank LBBW has promoted Patrick Walcher, a longstanding member of its property business, as its new head of real estate finance.

Walcher will replace Thorsten Schönenberger, who has taken on a wider role as board member with responsibility for real estate, project and transportation finance. Schönenberger joined the bank’s board last July, a spokesperson told Real Estate Capital.

Walcher has been with LBBW since 2000, when he firstly led a team in the bank’s share issue business. In 2004, he became head of real estate customers, with a focus on global investors and open-end fund business. In addition, Walcher held regional responsibility for the UK.

His promotion comes amid the bank’s plans to expand market presence, particularly in Canada and France. With a loan book of around €23 million, its core markets are Germany, the UK and the US.

Schönenberger told Real Estate Capital last September LBBW was planning to open a new office in Toronto in early 2018, as part of the expansion of its real estate finance business into the North American market. With the new hub, the bank aims to increase its existing Canadian loan book of around €300 million by the same amount in newly originated loans every year.

LBBW is also planning to increase its property finance activities in France, particularly in Paris, on the back of sponsor demand. The target for the French capital is to write around €300 million at an early stage.

“In the longer term, we should be able to do half a billion on a yearly basis. Paris is a single market but it is huge: we want to become a regular market participant instead of an opportunistic occasional lender,” Schönenberger said in September last year.

In H1 2017, LBBW wrote €3.4 billion of new loans, with the aim of generating new business in the range of €6 billion to €7 billion by end of last year.