Lewis takes the helm at Hatfield Philips

Starwood Property Trust has appointed former RBS banker Blair Lewis to head its European loan servicing business Hatfield Philips.

Lewis, who was previously European head of restructuring at Royal Bank of Scotland, will start in his new role on 6 January.

Starwood acquired Hatfield Philips last April as part of its acquisition of US parent LNR Property.

Although Hatfield Philips is one of the largest primary and special servicers of European legacy commercial mortgage backed securities, with £18.5bn under management, sources said that it needs to build up a pipeline of new business to replace this book as it winds down.

Starwood wants to focus on asset management and advising banks on loan and distressed property sales, as well as winning new loan servicing and loan agency business.

Barry Sternlicht, Starwood’s chairman and chief executive, said he was “confident in Lewis’s ability to help the firm achieve its strategic objectives”.

Lewis is not expected to be replaced at RBS, where he headed property loan restruc-turing in the non-core division in Europe, except Ireland.

RBS announced this week that Rory Cullinan, non-core chief executive, is to head its new bad bank, RBS Capital Resolution.

Another property loan servicing business set to be  sold is Morgan Stanley Loan Servicing, which Mount Street and CR Investment Management are vying to acquire.