Grosvenor promotes Bibby to lead US operations

The UK property company belonging to the Duke of Westminster has appointed Andrew Bibby as CEO of its US activities. Earlier last year, Grosvenor US said it had reversed an investment freeze on the residential sector following the credit crunch.

Grosvenor, the property company headed by UK aristocrat, the Duke of Westminster, has promoted Andrew Bibby as chief executive officer of its North American and Canadian operations, including its investment and fund management groups.

Bibby was formerly chief development officer, based in Vancouver. Bibby joined Grosvenor in 1984 and succeeds Bill Abelmann, who served as the firm’s chief executive for six years. Bibby will also oversee Grosvenor’s development activities.

In May last year, Grosvenor US, the fund management arm of the Grosvenor family’s property investment and development empire, told PERE the firm was poised to reverse its freeze on investments from its Grosvenor Residential Investment Partners fund because the sector was more attractive following the credit crunch. The fund closed on $100 million in 2007.

Grosvenor US president Doug Callantine said in the interview the fund would focus on residential land acquisitions, in particular providing equity to developers and homebuilders.

Grosvenor has also launched a $600 million Asia fund as it seeks to have 20 percent of its global assets in the region. Nicholas Loup, Asia Pacific chief executive, recently told Dow Jones that the fund would invest in Chinese shopping malls and was seeking property development opportunities in Shanghai.

The parent company, Grosvenor, which controls approximately 300 acres of prime central London real estate including vast swathes of Mayfair and Belgravia, branched out into fund management in 2005, buying asset manager Legg Mason Real Estate in 2006 to help boost its fund management presence in North America and Canada.

As of the end of 2007, Grosvenor had $25.7 billion in assets under management.