Gatehouse poaches HDG’s Churchill

Recently formed bank grows its Shariah-compliant real estate business on the back of the appointment.

Gatehouse Bank, the London-based bank that specialises in shariah-compliant investing in the City of London, has poached HDG Mansur head of investment management Philip Churchill to be its head of real estate.

In a statement, Churchill said: “With the real estate market providing attractive opportunities while the traditional property lenders are currently inactive, Shariah-compliant banks are an attractive alternative, particularly for Gulf-based and southeast Asia investors.”

Before joining HDG, Churchill worked at Citigroup for nine years where he was involved with the setting up of two Shariah-compliant European real estate funds.

As well as providing real estate finance, the bank is also offering advisory services on equity investments.

David Testa, chief executive at Gatehouse, said the appointment showed the bank’s commitment to establish a real estate leverage and equity investment business. “The current market conditions are creating long-term opportunities for value focussed investors, especially those looking to enter the UK market.,” he added.

The bank also said its new hire brought a “wealth of Islamic finance and real estate expertise”. Churchill was involved with the running of the HSBC Amanah Global Properties Income Fund while working for fund manager HDG. The open-ended Amanah fund has raised more than $500 million (€364 million)  since its inception in September 2002 and is targeting $1 billion of equity by 2010. Peter Matthews has replaced Churchill at HDG having joined from UK property investor Mansford Holdings at the end of last year.

Gatehouse, which was established in May 2007, also aims to provide its clients with capital markets, institutional wealth management, treasury business and Shariah advisory services.