DRC Capital hires Natalie Howard to expand debt strategies

Former AgFe executive joins the London-based firm as partner.

DRC Capital has hired Natalie Howard to expand the firm’s real estate debt strategies, PERE’s sister publication Real Estate Capital has reported.

Howard joins the debt fund lender from AgFe, where she set up the firm’s commercial real estate senior debt business. She began her career in 1989 at Paribas and worked at Morgan Stanley, where she was a founding member of the investment bank’s European CMBS business.

Following Morgan Stanley, Howard joined Barclays Capital, where she helped establish the firm’s CMBS programme and was responsible for its real estate lending business. Howard has also worked for Lehman Brothers as managing director in charge of the firm’s property debt funds for Europe and Asia.

Howard’s appointment has been announced a week after the acquisition of a minority percent stake in DRC by Savills Investment Management, the real estate investment management business of property services firm Savills. The London-based firm has bought an initial 25 percent stake in DRC, with the option to acquire the remainder in 2021.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining DRC at such a pivotal time in its business growth,” Howard said. “It is exciting to have the opportunity to play a strategic role in developing a compelling debt platform.”

Howard will report to Dale Lattanzio, DRC’s managing partner.

“We will launch new core senior debt strategies immediately and, with Savills, we will continue to expand our business across the debt sector in Europe,” Lattanzio told Real Estate Capital following the announcement of Savills’ stake acquisition.

Savills IM’s move comes at a time when debt is seen to offer defensive investment positions in European property investment at this point in the real estate cycle. Around $10.48 billion was raised for Europe-focused real estate debt in 2017, up by $4.98 billion a year earlier, according to Real Estate Capital data.