Real estate loan servicer and debt adviser Situs is setting up a valuation appraisal business in Europe in another expansion move under new owner Stone Point Capital.
The Houston-headquartered firm has hired Taco Brink of Altus Group to set up the European operation, which will be badged under the ‘Situs RERC’ brand.
Situs RERC is a national real estate valuation adviser in the US and Brink will report to Ken Riggs who leads the 80-year-old business. Like some other US CRE appraisors, and unlike European real estate surveyors which often offer both broking and valuation, the firm does not carry out broking business, stressing that it is “an impartial observer of markets.”
In the US, Situs RERC values for lending institutions as well as investors, developers and government agencies.
Riggs said firms that Situs already works with in Europe “as well as our US-based clients that operate here have been asking for our services, so it was a natural extension.
“As we have seen in the US, appraisal management and valuation advisory services are a value-add for both fund managers and investors, enabling the entire commercial real estate debt and equity ecosystem to be more efficient and successful.”
Brink said the US-style service would provide more transparency “in what has been traditionally an opaque market in Europe”, relieving “the conflicts of interest inherent with in-house review processes.”
Before working at UK-based surveying firm Altus, London-based Brink worked at DTZ and was head of its Pan-EU international valuation coordination group.
Situs’s previous European managing director, Hugo Raworth, left late last year to join the European valuation team at Jones Lang Lasalle.
Situs is currently in talks to buy European loan servicing and debt advisory rival Hatfield Philips from Starwood.
There has been speculation that Starwood boss Barry Sternlicht would sell the European business since Starwood acquired Hatfield as part of its purchase of US-based LNR in 2013.