Standard Life appoints new property head

The Edinburgh-based asset manager has named David Paine as its next head of property investments, following the retirement of veteran managing director Alex Watt in November.

Standard Life Investments’ Canadian real estate chief David Paine will take over as the firm’s global head of property following the departure of 28-year veteran managing director Alex Watt, who will retire in November.

Paine is currently president of Standard Life Investments’ real estate Canada arm and fund manager of the £2.4 billion ($3.5 billion; €2.8 billion) open-ended Heritage With Profits Fund.

Paine joined Standard Life in 1982 and has served as an investment director under Watt since 1998. He is also a member of the investment committees for the European Property Growth Fund, the UK Property Development Fund and is responsible for Standard Life Investments UK Shopping Centre Trust and UK Retail Park Trust.

“While we will be very sorry to see Alex go, I am delighted that we have been able to appoint David to head up our property business,” said Standard Life chief executive officer Keith Skeoch in a statement. “As part of Alex’s senior leadership team he has played a significant role in the development of Standard Life Investments global property portfolio.”

Standard Life manages more than £8 billion of real estate in Europe, according to the company’s website, and in November launched a £75 million pan-European property recovery fund. At the time, the firm stated the five-year fund would target commercial properties, aiming for a 12 percent annualised return net of fees, taxes and other costs.