Trimont hires Bill Sexton in European push – Exclusive

The servicer has appointed the former Mount Street managing partner as it seeks to capitalise on opportunities arising from the emergence of non-bank lending and construction loans.

Trimont Real Estate Advisors, the real estate asset manager, loan servicer and advisor, has appointed Bill Sexton to the newly created position of senior managing director for the EMEA region.

Sexton, who co-founded London-based servicer Mount Street Loan Solutions, has been hired to help Trimont achieve its plans for “aggressive growth” in the region, with the aim to capitalise on the servicing opportunities arising from the emergence of non-bank lending, Brian Ward, global chief executive officer, told Real Estate Capital.

The “natural” client base for a third-party loan and credit-servicing business is a non-bank lender, as balance-sheet lenders, such as commercial banks, tend to do their own back office, Sexton explained. The proliferation of debt fund lending in Europe, therefore, presents an opportunity to widen the potential customer base for firms such as Trimont, he added.

The servicer, which oversees around $30 billion in construction deals, also wants to benefit from its expertise in repositioning and development loans at a time when construction in Europe “is coming to the forefront again”, Sexton said.

“Private equity money from the US is now having to move into slightly riskier real estate investments and into development, so this is the perfect time for us to expand our business in Europe, taking advantage of that explosion in construction and development lending,” Sexton said.

Trimont is looking to “more than double” its European loan book, currently ranging between $8 billion and $10 billion, within the current cycle, Ward said.

The firm, which has offices in London and Amsterdam, will focus on those European countries where the legal system and the real estate market supports creditors, particularly non-bank lenders.

“We anticipate our markets being the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands as they are very active on a real estate and lending basis. Although we won’t be limited to those countries, they will be a big focus for us,” Sexton said.

Trimont’s initial focus will be the “active” performing real estate markets in Europe, but it will also work out non-performing loans across peripheral parts of Europe. “We are not planning to chase short-term NPL work-out contracts. We want to build a solid book of loan management, loan servicing, asset management and work out with the flow, rather than chase [NPL] acquisitions,” Sexton said.

Prior to joining Trimont, Sexton was offering consultancy services on a private basis – to clients such as real estate investor M7.

Previously, he co-founded Mount Street, where he served as managing partner, chief financial officer and chief operation officer since the firm’s inception in 2013. In this position, he led Mount Street’s overall formation and growth and, in particular, its commercial real estate loan servicing operations with responsibility for CMBS special servicing, NPL underwriting, servicing and workouts.

Sexton also co-founded GPT Halverton, a Pan-European real estate fund and asset management business. In addition, he held leadership position at Citigroup Property Investors, FPD Savills and DTZ, where he served as director of international investment.