ING Clarion to rebrand

The US arm of ING Real Estate’s investment business is to change its name from ING Clarion within the next six to 12 months, according to the outgoing chairman and chief executive of ING Real Estate Investment Management, David Blight.

ING Real Estate is set to rebrand its US investment management business, ending almost a decade of being known as ING Clarion.

In an interview with PERE, David Blight, chairman and chief executive of ING Real Estate Investment Management said the name-change could happen by the end of the year or possibly early in 2009 as part of a rebranding exercise.

ING Real Estate’s investment management business trades under its own name in every part of the world, but in the US it has operated as ING Clarion following the take over of Clarion Partners in 1998.

Blight said the broader ING Real Estate brand name was well enough known in the US to successfully make the change. The group’s finance business already trades under ING Real Estate.

The rebranding was one of a number of initiatives revealed by Blight during the interview with PERE to be published this month. The interview was conducted following his surprise resignation as head of ING’s €72 billion property investment management business. Blight took up his position three and a half years ago but is returning to his native Australia for family reasons.

He leaves at the end of August at a time when ING Real Estate is putting the finishing touches to an inaugural global opportunity platform. The European-side of the operation will be led by Wilson Lee, who was most recently managing director and head of real estate finance for UBS’ Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, and previously at Lehman Brothers for 17 years. David Gilbert was appointed last year to head up the new business from New York and run US investments, while Peter Kim was appointed to run the Asia operation.

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