Shire picked to head AXA REIM’s business development

The former deputy head of structured finance at AXA Investment Managers will replace Kiran Patel as global head of business development at AXA REIM. The focus of the role has been shifted to include corporate finance yet exclude research and strategy since Patel resigned in November.

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers (REIM) has appointed Deborah Shire as global head of business development. She replaces Kiran Patel, who resigned from the role in November to “pursue new opportunities.”

The role has been altered somewhat since Patel left the firm. Now, research and strategy is no longer included in the position but corporate finance is, which will allow Shire to have oversight of both product development as well as investor relations.

In her new role, Shire will be responsible for overseeing corporate finance, investor relations, marketing and communication and business development for the Paris-based real estate portfolio manager. According to a statement released by the firm, she also will join AXA REIM's management board and “play a key role in supervising product initiatives and coordinating capital raising efforts.” Shire will report directly to chief executive officer Pierre Vaquier.

“Integrating corporate finance, investor relations and marketing into one role will help us to shift our focus towards developing solutions for our clients, rather than just simply providing them with products,” said Shire about the position.

“[Shire’s] extensive experience working across multiple strategies was a fundamental factor in our decision to appoint her into this important role,” said Vaquier in a statement. “We felt it was important to strengthen our management board with someone who is able to bring a fresh perspective. I look forward to working with Deborah as we continue to grow the business.”

Shire joins AXA REIM from her post as deputy head of structured finance at parent company AXA Investment Managers (IM), where she was in charge of strategy, finance, marketing, operations and product development. Having joined AXA IM in 1998 as a quantitative portfolio manager, Shire worked alongside the founding team in 2000 to establish the firm’s structured finance division, where she became head of structured finance engineering. Prior to joining AXA IM, she spent three years working as a project manager at the AXA Group’s corporate finance and treasury department in Paris.

The role of business development head has taken some increased importance in the industry this year, as a number of firms have created or filled the post. Indeed, just last week, MGPA created the role of head of group business development for Neil Jones, previously group COO, following the departure of the private equity real estate firm’s global chief investment officer Alex Jeffrey

Separately, news of Shire’s appointment comes on the heels of AXA REIM announcing in January that it had raised a total of €588.5 million for European Development Venture III, a European fund geared towards investing in green and brownfield sites and existing properties in need of extensive redevelopment.