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UBS AM adds sixth hire to research team

Former Cushman & Wakefield global head of forecasting Fergus Hicks is UBS AM’s sixth addition in the last 18 months and provides further evidence of the firm’s intention to continue its research-led investment approach. 

UBS Asset Management (UBS AM), the investment management business of Swiss banking giant UBS, has appointed Fergus Hicks as real estate market strategist as the firm further enhances its research and strategy team. 

Based in the firm’s London office, Hicks’ recruitment will see him join up with UBS AM’s recently appointed global lead real estate strategist Paul Guest. The firm said he has been tasked with providing cross-regional analysis of the property investment market and conditions globally.

The hire is the European research and strategy team’s sixth appointment in the last 18 months.

Hicks, who has 15 years of real estate experience, joins UBS AM from commercial real estate consultancy, Cushman & Wakefield, where he was the firm’s global head of forecasting, where he covered over 200 markets.

“Fergus has an exceptional level of expertise with regards to commercial property research and market forecasting, making him the ideal candidate as UBS continues to bolster its offering in this area to assist the performance and growth of GRE’s cross regional investment capabilities, ” said Guest.

“In line with UBS’s research-led investment approach, Fergus will be working with our wider team to place real estate in the context of a multi-asset landscape and to help clients best define and execute their global real estate investment strategies,” he added.

The strategy and research team at UBS AM’s global real estate department, in addition to Guest and Hicks, now comprises: Frankfurt-based head of real estate research and strategy, Gunnar Herm; Zurich-based Swiss real estate strategist Michael Böniger; Rome-based Italian real estate research analyst Nicola Franceschini; and London-based research analysts Zachary Gauge, Sean Rymell and Melanie Brown.

Guest joined UBS AM from LaSalle Investment Management, where he was regional head of research and strategy for the Asia Pacific region, in November last year.

In March, UBS AM announced it was launching a separate accounts business, Global Customized Mandates for institutional investors under the leadership of Tilman Hickl, the firm’s head of European real estate. The move, the company said, was an expansion of its direct investing platform which catered for ultra-high net worth individuals.

UBS AM’s global real estate business has €67 billion assets under management across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific, as of March 31, 2016.