Blackstone recruits ex-HBOS real estate head as advisor

The New York-based private equity and real estate giant has drafted in ex-HBOS head of real estate, Nick Robinson, as an advisor as it seeks to unlock investments in the UK.

Blackstone has appointed former head of real estate at HBOS, Nick Robinson, as an advisor in an effort to push its investment activity in the UK, according to a report by the Estates Gazette.

HBOS was one of the largest lenders to real estate in Europe in recent years before it was purchased by Lloyds TSB at the start of 2009.

The bank had a loan book of approximately £70 billion (€80.6 billion; $106.5 billion) at the time of Robinson’s departure in September last year.

While Blackstone will be hoping that Robinson’s experience in UK real estate lending will enable it to unlock more investments in the UK, particularly from banks such as HBOS, which have been reluctant to make significant sell-offs to date, Robinson will also focus his efforts on aiding the firm's private equity efforts.

Blackstone has made few real estate investments in the country of late. Notable recent deals included the 50 percent purchase of the Broadgate office complex near Liverpool Street Station in London and the purchase of a 465,000 square foot logistics unit in Hemel Hempstead near London.

Robinson’s role is understood to run on a case-by-case basis as he considers other sources of employment within the banking sector.