Deutsche AWM hires France RE head

Cedric Dujardin joined on July 1 as director and head of real estate for France, filling the void left by Maximilien de Wailly, who left for Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing last year.

Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (AWM), the recently created division of Deutsche Bank that includes the real estate and infrastructure business formerly called RREEF, has filled its vacant head of France position.

The firm announced internally that it had hired Cedric Dujardin as director and head of real estate for France responsible for investments in the office and retails sectors in Paris and London. As at the end of last year, Alternatives and Real Assets, the part of DeAWM responsible for the bank's real estate strategies, managed €4 billion of assets in France. The platform managed €16 billion of property across Europe.

Dujardin, who started his role on July 1, has taken over the responsibilities left by Maximilien de Wailly de Wailly. de Wailly departed last year and joined Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing in February. Dujardin will report directly to Gianluca Muzzi, DeAWM’s head of real estate in Europe ex-Germany.

He previously worked for Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate investment firm of state pension manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, where he was a senior investment director. Before that, he worked for French property company Gecina where he was head of investment and sales for offices.

Dujardin joins during a time of stabilisation for DeAWM. The platform itself was only formed last September following a strategic review by Deutsche Bank of various of its businesses that included RREEF. Since determining that the inclusion of a real estate investment management businesses was indeed “an integral part” of its overall strategy, the platform has been formulating its approach to the asset class.

At PERE’s annual European summit in London, head of alternatives and real assets Pierre Cherki told delegates how the platform was looking at a number of higher-yielding strategies among the initiatives it pursues going forward. He said at the event the vast majority of the capital the platform attracted between 2008 and 2011 was for core real estate, where the focus was on downside protection via well-located buildings with strong tenants on long leases.

However, Cherki revealed that, since the beginning of the year, Deutsche Bank AWM had witnessed signs of risk appetite changing, especially since clients had become more concerned about the pricing of core deals.