Lehman Brothers appoints Sir John Ritblat

The investment bank has appointed one of the biggest names in UK property to sit on a newly created advisory council to its European private equity real estate division.

Lehman Brothers has appointed Sir John Ritblat, the outgoing chairman of FTSE 100 property development and investment company British Land, as chairman of its European Real Estate Private Equity Advisory Council.

Ritblat is one of the industry’s best known figures having steered British Land through three decades of growth.

He will provide strategic advice to the investment bank in the region.

In Europe, the private equity real estate division is run by Gerald Parkes and Mark Newman, the chief investment officer of the firm’s global private equity real estate group.

Parkes said: “The advisory council will play an important role in advising the business in Europe and Sir John’s appointment will be of tremendous benefit to our business.”

Jeremy Isaacs, chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers Europe and Asia, said: “Sir John Ritblat has a reputation second to none in the real estate business.”

Ritblat was managing director of Union Property Holdings in 1969 and became chairman and chief executive of British Land in 1971 following its merger with Union.

In recent times he was forced to split his dual chairman and chief executive roles because of  new corporate governance rules affecting public companies and earlier this year the company announced he would step down as chairman, although he will become honorary president of British Land from January 1 next year.

Lehman’s real estate business makes direct private equity and mezzanine investments in properties, real estate companies and service businesses through private investment vehicles and currently has $5 billion of equity invested around the world.

The overall real estate group is co-headed by Raymond Mikulich and Mark Walsh with staff in New York, London and Hong Kong and Tokyo.