Alternative lenders staff up
for the pandemic-induced lending opportunity

According to one of the real estate finance industry’s leading recruiters, hiring activity in 2020 was concentrated in the non-bank part of the market. 
By Daniel Cunningham

Serene Hamzawi recalls surprised reactions from some of the property debt professionals she called up with job prospects in the early days of the covid-19 crisis.

“Some said to me: ‘Really? You’re trying to headhunt me now?’,” recalls the managing partner at real assets focused executive search firm Sousou Partners. “It felt odd calling people about recruitment when we were all facing unprecedented circumstances.”

With a little more persuasion from its lender clients, Sousou was able to close several hiring processes that had been underway before Europe went into lockdown. Now, in the first quarter of 2021, discussions with debt specialists about new roles are far more frequent.

“It is easy for people to jump on a video call with us, where previously they would have come into our offices,” explains Hamzawi’s colleague, Sousou partner Jamie McKinnell. “People are facing their own four walls and have had time to ask themselves whether they want to be in their current role for the next 10 years. It has led to increased take-up for the industry’s more entrepreneurial roles.”

Published on – Real Estate Capital, March 2021