Sweden’s Brunswick poaches Helaba banker to grow debt business

Pontus Sundin has joined the Stockholm-based asset manager following the closing of its second Swedish senior credit fund.

Brunswick Real Estate, the Swedish property investor and lender, has expanded its debt team with the hiring of Helaba’s former Nordics representative Pontus Sundin.

Sundin joins Brunswick as a fund manager, just two months after the Stockholm-based firm, focused on providing senior credit in the Swedish market, closed its second property debt fund, with SKr6.6 billion (€640 million) raised.

“After having raised SKr6.6 billion, it is natural to further strengthen the team,” Brunswick’s partner Louise Richnau told Real Estate Capital.

“Our main focus is to invest the second fund in the senior secured space but, over time, we may seek to widen the scope, both geographically and thematically,” she added, noting that Sundin’s “broad network and experience” will help the firm to invest through debt in new markets such as Finland, where the firm sees “substantial” opportunities.

At Helaba, Sundin headed the German bank’s Stockholm office. The bank appointed Sundin in June 2016, as it aimed to increase its lending activity in the Nordic region.

Sundin has more than 12 years experience as a banker in the Nordic region, working for various institutions in commercial real estate lending functions. He was previously head of investment banking for commercial real estate at Nordea, a role he held from October 2011. Prior to that, he was transaction leader for GE Capital between 2007 and 2011 and a portfolio manager at Hypo Real Estate Bank International between 2004 and 2007.

“In different roles over time [Sundin] provided SKr45 billion of real estate debt, arranged different types of capital market financing and established the Helaba Nordic branch in Stockholm,” Richnau said.

Brunswick broke new ground in 2013 when it launched the first fund focused solely on Nordic real estate debt. The firm’s second property debt vehicle, Brunswick Real Estate Capital II, offers senior secured lending in Sweden, primarily in the range of SKr400 million to SKr1 billion per loan with a term of up to 10 years. Brunswick targets net returns to investors of above 200 basis points.

The vehicle had deployed in June most of the SKr2.8 billion it raised by its first close in December 2016. Capital has been brought in from some of the Nordic region’s largest institutional investors, including Norway’s biggest life insurer Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP), Swedish insurance and pension savings company Folksam Group and Sweden’s PRI Pensionsgaranti.

“We see a continued strong demand from borrowers as well as investors. We will continue to invest and grow our debt business and Pontus will play a central role in that work,” said Peter Leimdörfer, partner at Brunswick.