Aberdeen adds RE business development head

The Scottish global investment management firm has created a new position to help accommodate its growing base of real estate LPs. Roberto Varandas, formerly with UBS, will fill that role as global head of property business development

Aberdeen Asset Management has hired Roberto Varandas as global head of its property business development arm. In the newly created position, Varandas will work with the Aberdeen, Scotland-based global investment management firm's wider business development and distribution teams to better deliver on its existing funds to potential LPs. In addition, he will be responsible for responding to potential LP interest in new funds and separate accounts.

Chris Ellyatt, global head of business development at Aberdeen, said in a statement that the hiring of Varandas “will help expand further our property investor client base.” Indeed, a spokesperson for Aberdeen said the firm created the post as a means of anticipating growth in its LP base.

Up until recent months, Aberdeen's real estate investor base had centered on Europe. Now, however, the firm is garnering interest for its property business from potential LPs in Asia and the Americas.

According to the firm, Varandas and his four-person team, which includes Alessandro Bronda, Chris van Beek and Rod Ross, will work out of the London office. He will start in September, reporting directly to Ellyatt.

For several years, Aberdeen's property division sat outside the rest of Aberdeen. Now, the division has been properly integrated, and the hiring of Varandas is a continuation of that integration, the spokesperson explained.

Before joining Aberdeen, Varandas served as head of real estate business development for Continental Europe at UBS Global Asset Management, where he helped roll out the group's real estate platform. Prior to that, he was a vice president at Capital & Marketing Group from 2004 to 2007 and was involved in raising more than $8 billion in equity.