BANK LENDER OF THE YEAR: EUROPE

WINNER: Citi
SECOND PLACE: Morgan Stanley
THIRD PLACE: Goldman Sachs Real Estate Financing Group

US investment banks demonstrated appetite to underwrite large loans across European real estate markets in 2021. Citi was a key player among them, racking up several major financing deals during the year. In January, it provided €400 million of finance to support the pan-European growth of Crossbay, the urban logistics business of manager MARK. April saw it write a €267 million loan to property investor Round Hill Capital to finance a multifamily portfolio in Finland in one of the Nordic region’s major deals. In Spain, it financed the purchase of a bank-owned residential portfolio with a €250 million loan.

 

BANK LENDER OF THE YEAR: UK

WINNER: HSBC
SECOND PLACE: Barclays Corporate Banking
THIRD PLACE: RBC Capital Markets

HSBC proved to be a regular participant in large-scale financing deals for real estate companies in its home market in 2021. In August, it played a key role in a £400 million (€474 million) unsecured green bond for residential developer The Berkeley Group. It was also involved in a £300 million sustainable bond for UK developer Assura and in a revolving credit facility for student housing provider Unite Group.

 

BANK LENDER OF THE YEAR: GERMANY

WINNER: pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank
SECOND PLACE: Helaba
THIRD PLACE: Berlin Hyp

Deals closed by pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank in its home market in 2021 included a €140 million loan in October, alongside LBBW, to developer maincubes for a new data centre in Hamburg. Other deals included the €83 million financing of a new Munich office building, the acquisition financing, alongside Helaba, of Munich’s Highlight Towers office building, and a €380 million loan, with two other banks, to refinance a logistics portfolio.

 

BANK LENDER OF THE YEAR: FRANCE

JOINT WINNER: BNP Paribas
JOINT WINNER: Natixis
THIRD PLACE: Société Générale

In an REC Europe awards first, two parties have tied in this category. BNP Paribas and Natixis each participated in major financings in France in 2021. BNP was bookrunner and underwriter of an €800 million loan to finance French property company Altarea’s July acquisition of Primonial Group. In May, Natixis was joint ESG co-ordinator of a €3 billion, five-year sustainability-linked revolving credit facility for retail owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

 

BANK LENDER OF THE YEAR: SOUTHERN EUROPE

WINNER: ING
SECOND PLACE: Banco Santander
THIRD PLACE: Crédit Agricole CIB

Dutch bank ING was involved in one of Spain’s most significant real estate financing deals of last year. In June, it provided a €470 million loan to finance the purchase of logistics platform Montepino Logística, which was acquired by an alternative investment vehicle of Bankinter Investment. In Italy, it partnered with domestic bank UniCredit in a €130 million green loan for the Cordusio 2.0 office and retail building in Milan, managed by Hines.

 

ALTERNATIVE LENDER OF THE YEAR: EUROPE

WINNER: Allianz Real Estate
SECOND PLACE: Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies
THIRD PLACE: Apollo Global Management

A repeat winner of this award, Allianz wrote around €2.2 billion of European real estate loans in 2021 – its highest volume to date. Transitional loans grew to account for around half of its lending, reflecting sponsors’ increasing tendency to upgrade assets. Around two-thirds of the €2.2 billion was eligible to be classified as green loans. Deals included a 78 percent share of a €185 million loan to low-carbon real estate fund Icawood for a wood-structured scheme in Paris, and a €161 million green loan for 10 George Street in London’s Canary Wharf – the company’s first single-asset private rented sector debt deal in Europe.

 

ALTERNATIVE LENDER OF THE YEAR: UK

WINNER: Cheyne Capital
SECOND PLACE: Cain International
THIRD PLACE: Aviva Investors

In November 2021, London-based Cheyne reported completing nine UK loans in the year to date, totalling £490 million (€579 million). They included £103 million in November to Australian developer Third.i Group for the acquisition and development of Graphite Square, a 160-unit residential scheme in Nine Elms, London. Other loans included £99 million for an assisted living scheme in London’s Fulham and £46.5 million for a student housing development in Brighton.

 

ALTERNATIVE LENDER OF THE YEAR: GERMANY

WINNER: Allianz Real Estate
SECOND PLACE: DWS
THIRD PLACE: Apollo Global Management

In February 2021, Allianz provided a €300 million loan, on behalf of several group insurance companies, to finance the acquisition by Frankfurt-based manager Arminius Group of the Grand Campus office complex in Frankfurt. The 654,000-square-foot complex was sold by Commerz Real and is fully occupied by Commerzbank. The financing was one of Germany’s landmark non-bank real estate lending deals of 2021.

 

ALTERNATIVE LENDER OF THE YEAR: FRANCE

WINNER: Cheyne Capital
SECOND PLACE: Allianz Real Estate
THIRD PLACE: AEW

In addition to its UK performance, Cheyne made further inroads into France, with €400 million of lending in the year to November. Deals included €81.5 million to Lone Star for the acquisition of residential developer GreenCity Immobilier. It provided €63 million to Bain Capital for an office development in southern Paris. In the hospitality sector, it provided €93 million for the conversion of the 16th-century L’Hôtel du Couvent in Nice.

 

ALTERNATIVE LENDER OF THE YEAR: SOUTHERN EUROPE

WINNER: Incus Capital
SECOND PLACE: Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies
THIRD PLACE: Generali Real Estate

The Madrid-based real assets manager has established itself as a significant non-bank lender, including squarely in the mid-sized loans market in Spain. In June, it launched its fourth European Credit Fund, with a final close targeted for Q2 2022 and a hard-cap set at €650 million. By June, Incus had called 70 percent of the €500 million of capital committed to its third debt fund.

 

LENDER OF THE YEAR: BENELUX

WINNER: LaSalle Investment Management
SECOND PLACE: DRC Savills Investment Management
THIRD PLACE: Berlin Hyp
LaSalle’s lending business was particularly active in the Benelux region in 2021. Deals included two loans totalling €198 million for a sponsor’s logistics build-up strategy, including assets in the Netherlands. It provided €80 million to support a portfolio build-up strategy for PRS assets. LaSalle also provided €75 million for a hotel portfolio across the Netherlands and Belgium and upsized by €30 million a €66 million loan to Carlyle for Dutch self-storage assets.

 

SMALL-TICKET MARKET LENDER OF THE YEAR (SUB-€20M MARKET): EUROPE

WINNER: ASK Partners
SECOND PLACE: LendInvest
THIRD PLACE: Pluto Finance

Among those meeting demand for sub-€20 million loans in 2021 was London-based specialist lender ASK. It reported £259.5 million (€307.3 million) of lending across 27 transactions to November. These included, in September, a €10.3 million, 12-month loan to newly formed developer Future High Street Living, designed to fund the acquisition and planning process for a residential-led redevelopment of a former department store in the UK town of Staines.

 

MID-MARKET LENDER OF THE YEAR (€20M-€70M MARKET): EUROPE

WINNER: CBRE Investment Management
SECOND PLACE: Investec Real Estate
THIRD PLACE: OakNorth Bank

A new award for 2021. Europe’s busy mid-market loans space was fertile ground for CBRE Investment Management’s lending business. The manager’s 2021 loans ranged from £8 million (€9.5 million) to £41 million. These included a £36.5 million acquisition and capex loan to Odysseus Capital Management for the 60 Morrison Street office building in Edinburgh, known as Edinburgh One, which the borrower will refurbish as 88,000 square feet of modern workspace.

 

SUSTAINABLE FINANCE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR: EUROPE

WINNER: HSBC
SECOND PLACE: Crédit Agricole CIB
THIRD PLACE: Aviva Investors

A greater number of real estate lenders provided green and sustainability-linked loans in 2021. UK bank HSBC was involved in several high-profile examples. The bank is aiming to provide up to $1 trillion in sustainable finance and investment by 2030. In the European real estate market, it was green loan coordinator in April for a £450 million (€535 million) loan to Qatari Diar to fund the transformation of London’s former US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. In the same month, it was a lender and syndication agent in a €3 billion sustainability-linked facility for retail owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. In August, it was a global coordinator of a £400 million unsecured green bond for UK developer The Berkeley Group.

 

SYNDICATION/SECURITISATION TEAM OF THE YEAR: EUROPE

WINNER: Morgan Stanley
SECOND PLACE: Goldman Sachs Real Estate Financing Group
THIRD PLACE: Bank of America

One of the few active issuers of commercial mortgage-backed securities in Europe in 2021, three of Morgan Stanley’s deals financed the activities of North American manager Brookfield. They included the first German multifamily CMBS since 2013 in a €318 million July deal. It also issued a UK retail parks CMBS in July alongside Bank of America, and a life sciences sector securitisation in September with Bank of America and Standard Chartered.

 

BORROWER FINANCE TEAM OF THE YEAR: EUROPE

WINNER: Brookfield
SECOND PLACE: Blackstone
THIRD PLACE: CBRE Investment Management

The North American investment giant’s European real estate activities led to sizeable financing mandates in 2021. Its borrowing helped fuel Europe’s commercial mortgage-backed securities market. In July, it was sponsor in the €318 million Haus (ELoC 39) CMBS, backed by a German multifamily portfolio. In September, it was sponsor in Atom Mortgage Securities 2021 – a UK life sciences sector CMBS, which securitised a £391 million (€463 million) loan.