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EXCLUSIVE: Savills IM appoints ex-Pradera boss Bury

Ex-Pradera chief executive has moved to the real estate investment management business of London-listed property services firm Savills just three months after the European retail specialist underwent a management buyout.

Savills Investment Management (Savills IM), the real estate investment management business of London-listed property services firm Savills, has appointed James Bury as its chief operating officer, PERE has learnt.

The ex-Pradera Asset Management chief executive has joined the firm, which has now officially changed its name from Cordea Savills.

Bury joined London-based retail specialist Pradera as head of European fund management from JER Partners back in 2009, where he was responsible for the management of Pradera’s European property funds.

Then in 2012, Pradera founder and executive chairman Paul Whight and chief executive Colin Campbell ceded operational control of the company to Bury who became chief executive officer, and was supported by managing directors Roberto Limetti and Neil Varnham.

Bury’s move to Savills comes three months after Pradera announced it had agreed a management buyout that will see the firm remain an independent investment manager. Last year, Pradera appointed Berkshire Capital, the New York-based boutique investment bank which specializes in mergers and acquisitions, to advise the firm on its options, including a sale, which did not materialize.

The MBO saw co-founder, Colin Campbell, who already owns 40 percent of Pradera’s holding company, Kuno, purchase Whight’s 60 percent stake for an undisclosed sum.

The deal saw Campbell re-appointed chairman of Pradera, having previously held this position as well as having worked as managing director and chief executive and serving as a non-executive director since 2012.

Pradera’s management team was increased via the appointment of shareholder and former director, David Fletcher, as a fourth managing director alongside Alison Rehill, Neil Varnham and Roberto Limetti. Simone Asser, another shareholder and the finance director of Pradera from 2001 to 2010, re-joined the senior team as a non-executive director and corporate finance advisor. Whight will remain a non-executive director.

Savills IM has also been busy and earlier this month the firm formed an investment management platform with China’s first ‘national-level private investment company’ China Minsheng Investment Capital. The pair have formed an investment management platform that will, over time, roll out a series of investment funds for various European property strategies. The partnership commenced with the launch of CMISM European Investment Fund, an investment fund initially focused on investments in London’s residential market to which China Minsheng has committed cornerstone capital of £30 million (€41.47 million; $46.76 million).