Allianz hires Jestin as head of retail

Former Unibail-Rodamco executive Marina Jestin will head the firm’s retail property operations, as it looks to increase its exposure to the asset class globally. 

Allianz Real Estate, the real estate investment arm of German insurer Allianz, has appointed Marina Jestin as the head of retail in an effort to expand its predominantly European retail real estate portfolio globally.

Jestin comes with over 20 years of real estate experience. Previously, she worked as the group managing director for commercial property firm Unibail-Rodamco’s European operations, and has also been the deputy managing director for Viparis, a Paris-based consortium of congress and exhibition venues.

Based in the firm’s Paris office, Jestin will be tasked with growing Allianz’ retail real estate holdings as well as optimizing the value of its existing retail portfolio.

“Allianz Group is one of the largest investors in dominant European shopping centres, with valued partnerships with the major operators. Marina Jestin will focus on expanding our retail real estate asset base globally, and our key relationships with partners,” Charles Pridgeon, chief investment officer of the group said in a statement announcing the hire.

Allianz Real Estate invests in real estate on behalf of Allianz insurance companies on a direct and indirect basis. As of last year, the firm had €30 billion assets under management. In 2013, the firm’s real estate investments totalled €3.2 billion, of which €2.3 billion was direct and indirect investments. Its loans to finance office and retail property stood at €6.6 billion.