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Cordea Savills signs Patel as CIO

Formerly an influential figure at AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, Patel is expected to offer similar leadership at the London-based real estate investment management arm of property services firm Savills.

Cordea Savills, the London-based real estate investment manager has hired Kiran Patel as its chief investment officer.

Patel joins after leaving AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, the real estate investment management business of French insurer AXA in November last year.

A big-name signing for Cordea Savills, Patel has been an active figure in global property investing for more than 20 years. At AXA, where he spent 11 of those years, he was latterly the firm’s global head of business development, distribution, research and strategy as well as a member of the firm’s management board and executive committee.

While at AXA he was said to have had a heavy influence over the firm’s investment strategies as well as for the raising of new funds and other expansion initiatives.

In an announcement by Cordea Savills on Patel’s appointment, chief executive officer Justin O’Connor recognised the firm has appointed a man with a “wealth of experience” and stated he would be “invaluable to us as we move forward with our plans for growth”.

“In particular, his understanding of global investment markets and his ability to create innovative investment solutions will be important in directing our existing and future clients’ investment strategies,” he said.

For his part, Patel said he was impressed by the structure and growth of Cordea Savills over recent years and its plans for future expansion. He said: “As CIO, I can add to the depth of existing investment experience at the company and I look forward to playing a key role across the business in fulfilling the next stage of its growth.”

Cordea Savills was fully acquired by Savills in March 2010 after the property services firm bought out the management’s 40 percent stake for £15.4 million (then €17.0 million; $23.2 million). Then, Savills group chief executive Jeremy Helsby said it had a long-term commitment to the fund management business and described the business as “strategically important”, a statement that appears to have been evidenced with the recruitment of Patel.

The firm had €3.27 billion of assets under management as of September last year although, including other Savills controlled entities, the group manages €7.85 billion of assets.