The Round-Up, June 2023

Money for Nothing

To our valued clients and friends, 

When considering Sousou Partners’ recent Real Estate Debt Compensation Study and the associated hiring spree of 2021/2022, coupled with the reported outsized pay increases provided by certain members of the lending community, it’s important to consider a few reasons why? We believe our readers care about where we’re going as well as from where we came from, so we hope this helps. First, we refer you to the great 20th century poets: Mark Knopfler and Sting and their spot-on lyrics of “Money for Nothing”, which became the mantra of the 1980s IB/Wall Street world, and which bled over into the early 2020s. With high LTV leveraged CRE positions, coupled with nearly zero interest rates, equity shops were printing sizable ROE results over the last several years so many debt shops wanted a part of that bonanza.

Best wishes,
Mark Antoncic

Today, with somewhat (historically) normalizing interest rates, we see many non-traditional debt shops become less interested in driving high-leverage loans and more focused on full-sized, senior loans, which was traditionally a “boring” AUM business — far less sexy and less profitable than that of a few years past (unless you scale).

We predict that it won’t be for a while until we see as many higher-yielding shops print as many loan tickets at such a vigorous pace without venturing into the “rescue” space – at least not until their books are properly marked and much of the over-leveraged sponsor equity is flushed from the system. Hence, we believe comp level growth at many credit shops will remain somewhat moderate for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, let’s simply look at some recent headline topics to understand/grasp the magnitude of the situation, which helps explain some of our foreseen softening of credit hiring demand (parenthetically); especially given some of the gruesome news in certain commercial markets which remains on much of the CRE lender balance sheets.

We know this is all nuanced, but consider:

  • REITs are deleveraging and buying back stock at low values to stabilize share prices and right-size balance sheets; in some cases, buybacks are at <80% of NAV (Fitch)
  • U.S. REIT sheds most valuable asset in bid to stabilize portfolio (Bloomberg)
  • CMBS delinquency rates are predicted to be up more than 2x next year (Fitch)
  • One owner sent a c. $250MM CMBS loan on NYC multifamily to special servicer in recent weeks
  • Another defaulted on a c. $130MM office loan
  • Yet another defaulted on c. $260MM
  • And two recently defaulted on/gave back c. $1B each

Other considerations:

  • We’re seeing more distressed since the GFC: c. $1.5T CRE debt comes due by end of 2025 which will have difficulty refinancing
  • Recently a major, well-capitalized public home builder/owner-operator backed by a top-tier U.S. Hedge Fund was unable to finance an add-on phase of a residential master-planned community where existing phases are 96% leased and seeing double-digit rent increases
  • The banking system is stressed, especially at the Regional level in the U.S. (we recently witnessed three of the top 30 U.S. banks fail)
  • Regional banks, which represent roughly ~14% of all commercial lending are pulling back debt capital at a time when a wall of loans are maturing; c. $500B CRE debt comes due this year (MBA)
  • 84% of maturing office loans could have trouble refinancing (Moody’s)

Underwater sponsors need wholesale cap-stack restructuring – in some cases, mark-to-market down c. 30% to 35%:

  • With c. 5% interest rates and stressed general market conditions, much of the $500B rolling will not satisfy DY and LTV tests
  • A/B structures and write-downs will be required
  • Sidelined capital is typically seeking 15-20% returns which will put further downward pressure on already stressed CRE and loan refi’s
  • High quality assets are trading below replacement cost
  • Bank shares underperformed the broader market given concerns about their CRE credit exposure; U.S. banks plan to shed massive amounts of CRE loans (FT)
  • Reportedly 576 U.S. banks exceeded regulatory guidance on CRE loan concentration by end 1Q23, up 30% compared to same period in ‘22 (S&P)

On the good news front – somewhere between c. $500B to $1T of cash has been raised and is sitting on the sidelines; private capital currently accounts for roughly c. 12% of the $6.3T U.S. CRE credit market (Reuters/Fitch). So, when considering the dreary headlines cited above, recognize there’s lots of headroom for increased activity, growth, and hiring to satisfy the significant, forthcoming demand that’s reshaping the CRE credit space.

We hope you find Sousou Partners’ recent comp survey useful.

Expert Opinion

Interview with Charles Walford

Charles Walford is a Senior Development Director and Head of Life Sciences at Stanhope. Since joining in 1989, he has developed a specialism in the ‘front end’ of the development process including identification and securing new opportunities, managing all aspects of pre-development including planning as well as general de-risking projects to enable implementation to take place.

Charles has been involved with some major mixed use projects including Ruskin Square, Television Centre and the Royal Albert Dock. Currently, Charles is heading up the British Library project in its early stages. As a result he has developed a specific interest and expertise in the Life Science sector.

He is a Chartered Surveyor, has looked after PR and communications for Stanhope and was an advisor to the Photographers’ Gallery.

Charles Walford

View from the Middle East

Interview with Dina Karim

Sousou Partners were delighted to sit down with Dina Karim as part of our new series ‘View from the Middle East.’ In these interviews, we’ll be looking at the transformation happening in the region through the lens of real assets, showcasing the unique perspectives of individuals on the ground.

Dina is an executive HR leader with multicultural, diversified experience in local and multinational organizations. In her 17+ years’ experience, she has led across the spectrum of human resource functions including organizational transformation and development, talent management, recruitment, and strategy, support services, change management, and enterprise-wide innovation. Throughout her career, she has developed coaching and mentoring programs at all organizational levels, led the creation of customized executive leadership development programs, and established diversity and inclusion programs.

Dina has grown her career across different business sectors in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility. She started her career in the banking sector holding key HR roles at Barclays Capital & Wealth and the National Commercial Bank (NCB). She then moved into the pharmaceutical sector where she was the HR country leader for Saudi & Sri Lanka. Dina then transitioned to General Electric (GE) where she served as the Executive HR leader for Saudi and Bahrain. Following her role at GE, Dina became the Executive Vice Director for the Executive Leadership Development Center (ELDC) at the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). Dina returned to the banking sector as the head of talent management for Riyadh Bank. She then moved to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) at a subsidiary Project serving as the chief HR officer.

Dina holds a Master degree (M.Sc.) in Public Administration in the field of Human Resources Management from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in Business Administration from King Saud University.

Dina Karim
PIF Projects


We were delighted to collaborate with PERE and Real Estate Capital for our latest compensation surveys

“When it comes to private real estate compensation, 2022 will be recorded as the year in which increases slowed down”

For the full article, please click on the image below

Real Estate Capital
“Remuneration growth has slowed in European real estate debt markets. But non-bank lenders have narrowed the gap with the big players in the investment banking sector”

For the full article, please click on the image below

Talking Points

Ghada Sousou was delighted to moderate a discussion on DE&I in Real Estate at PERE Europe Forum 2023 in London. The panel debated subjects including structuring company policies to ensure DEI goals are met; how improved diversity in gender and race impacts investment decisions; and the importance of changing the work culture in enabling firms to recruit and retain top talent.

A huge thank you to PERE, the panelists, Sue Brown (Real Estate Balance), Andrea Carpenter (Diversity Talks Real Estate), David Gorleku (Blackstone) and Honoré Achille Simo (JLL) and everyone who attended.

Key Moves

A highlight of key people moves within global real assets over the last quarter


  • Patrizia appointed Asoka Wohrmann as Chief Executive Officer designate, and Slava Shafir as Chief Operating Officer
  • Neil Slater joined Redevco as Chief Executive Officer
  • CA Immo appointed Keegan Viscius as Chief Executive Officer
  • Leiv Synnes joined SBB as Chief Executive Officer
  • GLP Capital Partners Europe appointed Ben Marks as Chief Financial Officer
  • GLIL appointed Simon Merriweather as Senior Adviser
  • Revetas Capital appointed Edgar Rosenmayr as Senior Adviser
  • Francesco Starace joined EQT Infrastructure’s advisory team as a Partner
  • M&G hired Robin Hubbard as Global Head of Real Estate Investor Relations and Investment Specialists
  • AXA IM Alts appointed Victoria Hall as Head of Funds, Infrastructure
  • BNP Paribas REIM hired Vincenzo Nocerino as Chief Executive Officer, Italy
  • Cromwell Property appointed Susan White as European Chief Financial Officer
  • Javier Solís was appointed Head of EMEA, Real Estate Asset Management at Goldman Sachs AM
  • Eastdil Secured hired Juergen Fenk as Managing Director
  • Legal & General Investment Management hired John Carey as Head of Infrastructure Debt, Europe
  • Multi Corporation hired Rogier Hetterschijt as Head of Investments
  • Adolfo Favieres, Managing Director, and Jesús Moler, Vice President, joined BlackRock to lead the firm’s newly created Spanish real estate team
  • Patrizia hired Michael Lindemann as Managing Director for its Fund business
  • Pictet hired Linus Nilsson as Head of Nordics for Direct Real Estate
  • Rodrigo Cortés joined Tishman Speyer as Managing Director
  • Adriend Beuriot joined P3 Logistics Parks as Managing Director, France
  • Gianluca Romano joined Catella as Head of Capital Raising
  • Oxford Properties hired Tina Pristovsek as Vice President, Real Estate Finance and Capital Markets, Europe
  • NW1 Partners hired Brooks Blake as Head of Europe
  • Jamie Younger joined PfP Capital as Fund Manager, responsible for the £330m Picture Living PRS platform
  • Europa Capital hired Ed Crockett as Head of Residential Investments, UK & Europe and Mantas Storporstis as Director
  • Rosa Brand and Tom Rix joined Apollo’s European Core Plus Real Estate platform, as Principal and Executive Director, Asset Management & Operational strategy, respectively


  • Mawson Infrastructure appointed Rahul Mewawalla as Chief Executive Officer and President
  • Pritesh Patel was named Head of Americas, Real Estate at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
  • Madison International Realty hired Mark Schein as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel
  • Spearmint Energy hired Cory Magnuson as Chief Financial Officer
  • Macquarie Capital named John Pickhaver as Head of Infrastructure and Energy Capital, Americas
  • Ryan Severino joined BentallGreenOak as Chief Economist and Head of Research for the firm’s US business
  • Stonepeak appointed Michael Leitner as Senior Managing Director
  • Laurence Pelosi and Tim Marvich were appointed to lead Crow Holdings’ new renewables business
  • Ares Management hired Todd Farrell as Partner and its first Head of US Multifamily Development
  • JLL hired Bryan Dunne as a Senior Managing Director in the Los Angeles office and appointed Dean Sands as Managing Director, Retail Investment Sales and Advisory in Washington, D.C.
  • Tishman Speyer hired Anne Westbrook as Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets
  • Julia Butler was appointed Chief Investment Officer of KKR Real Estate Select Trust (KREST)
  • NW1 Partners hired Giancarlo Vissat as Senior Vice President, Investments, US


  • Blackstone-backed Embassy Office Parks REIT appointed Aravind Maiya as Chief Executive Officer
  • Langham Hospitality Group named Bob van den Oord as Chief Executive Officer
  • ICG appointed Jae Choi as Managing Director, Marketing and Client Relations Team, Asia
  • DWS appointed Jung-hoon Kook as Head of Real Estate in Korea and Leiting Deng as Head of Real Estate in Singapore
  • PGIM Real Estate promoted Jamie Shen to Head of its Agriculture Division globally
  • Arch Capital Management promoted Terence Lo to Managing Director within the investment and asset management team in Hong Kong
  • Mika Kania was appointed Director of Sustainability and ESG in Asia Pacific at Cushman & Wakefield
  • M&G Real Estate hired Jason Leong as Deputy Fund Manager for its core Asia Pacific property strategy
  • Colliers hired Teo Junrong as Director of Hotels and Leisure for Asia
  • JLL hired Luke Billiau as Head of Capital Markets, Australia and New Zealand


A look at some of the largest real estate deals over the last quarter

Geography Focus: UK

Sector Focus: Living

Market Insights

Market Trends

  • For the first time, Asian investors were the largest source of capital for real estate funds globally in 2022, providing $94.3bn for non-listed funds, c. 35% of the $270bn raised
  • Corporates raised €25.6bn from real estate sales across EMEA in 2022, across over 700 transactions, exceeding €25bn for the fifth consecutive year
  • BlackRock ended the block on its £3.5bn UK property fund, repaying investors who had made redemption requests as far back as 2Q22


  • TPG is acquiring Angelo Gordon in a cash and equity deal worth $2.7bn

Fund Raises

  • Blackstone is targeting €10bn for its seventh European opportunistic real estate fund
  • Urban Partners raised €3.65bn for investments in its Northern European real estate business NREP
  • Arrow Global, which raised €2.75bn of capital commitments for its second credit fund, will target non-performing and non-core assets including real estate backed credit opportunities
  • PGIM Real Estate launched an urban logistics platform in France


  • Nuveen launched an Article 9 Global Real Estate Carbon Reduction fund, focused on lessening global carbon emissions through investment in listed real estate

Life Science & Innovation

  • The development of a major life sciences cluster at Canary Wharf continues with a range of life sciences-focused startups and scale-up businesses joining the community of technology businesses at its specialist coworking and office hub, Level39, the flexible workspace and tech community. Launched by Canary Wharf Group 10 years ago, it is now home to over 180 startups and scale-ups
  • Barings successfully closed its inaugural Barings Innovation and Growth Real Estate at $680m, seeking to capitalize on fundamental demand drivers in the life science and STEM office space in key markets which attract and retain highly educated and innovative workforces


  • Global investment in clean energy is set to rise to $1.7tr in 2023, with solar set to eclipse oil production for the first time


  • Around one in five loans backing commercial real estate in the UK, France and Germany that fall due between now and 2025 are likely to face refinancing challenges given higher interest rates. The sector in those countries is estimated to face a €51bn debt funding gap over the next three years
  • Blackstone and Brookfield extended three loans totalling £780m that were at or close to maturity
  • Blackstone also closed a €680m Spanish hotel portfolio refinancing, including €310m of mezzanine for 15 hotels
  • AllianceBernstein is targeting €1bn for its second European debt fund
  • Tristan Capital Partners is targeting up to €750m for its second pan-European debt fund
  • Fiera Real Estate launched their debut European debt fund, with £100m in seed funding for the open-ended vehicle