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CBRE appoints Astier as Italian capital markets MD

The Los Angeles-based property services firm has appointed Alexandre Astier as managing director of its Italian capital markets business at a time when heavy-hitters in the private equity real estate sector are paying particularly close attention to the country’s banking system. 

CBRE has appointed Alexandre Astier as managing director of its capital markets business in Italy.

Astier joined property services firm CBRE in 2014 to head up its capital advisors business in Italy and since joining has expanded the firm’s services in the country, both in terms of real estate finance expertise and structuring of transactions.

In his new role, Astier will lead the firm’s capital markets team, which is comprised of capital advisory and investment property transactions teams. He takes over from Paolo Bellacosa who has decided to step down from his role at CBRE to pursue other interests after 12 years with the company.

A spokesman for the firm said Astier is “highly respected” by clients across both the real estate and financial markets and is a key member of CBRE’s EMEA capital advisors team and Italian management board.

Prior to working at CBRE, Astier spent six years at real estate asset manager Ben Stablili, where he held a number of roles including head of business development, head of asset management and head of advisory. Before that he was head of real estate corporate finance at BNP Parisbas.

Alessandro Mazzanti, chief executive officer CBRE Italy, said: “The investment we have made in this area of our business means we are now able to provide our clients with the broadest range of strategic real estate finance advice and structuring solutions, combined with access to global capital markets and first class transactional advice,” he said.

“Alexandre’s experience and strong market reputation make him ideally suited to continue to evolve our client offer, and sustain the company’s market leading position in capital markets in Italy,” Mazzanti added.

The hire comes at a time when heavyweight investment managers in the real estate sector are running the rule over the Italian distressed credit market.

At the Urban Land Institute (ULI) conference in London last month, a panel of senior executives from big-hitters Blackstone, Lone Star and Goldmans Sachs said they viewed Italy’s banking system as the next potential source of distressed real estate credit deals. But the same panel also expressed concerns about Italian bankers’ willingness to do business.

Delegates at the conference also heard how the Non-Performing Loan (NPL) market was only just getting started in Italy, compared with other markets such as the UK, Ireland and Spain.

According to Cushman & Wakefield’s corporate finance team, Spanish loans accounted for €3.7 billion of closed sales recorded in 2016 so far, with 1,855 sales. Second highest was €1.1 billion in Italy with 1,155 sales.