Valad underlines ‘commitment’ to €4.7 billion European platform

The Australian property fund manager with 14 vehicles in Europe says two appointments demonstrate the firm’s commitment to the region as well as to the importance of Germany and the Nordics

Valad Property Group, the Australian investment manager, says two recent appointments show the firm’s commitment to Europe where it has €4.7 ($5.8 billion) of assets.

Valad said the appointment of Michael Bruhn, head of Valad Nordic, and Klaus Kortebein, head of Valad Germany, served to signal
the importance of the Nordics and Germany to its business, which collectively account for more than 40 percent of assets in the region.

The duo join chief executive Marty McCarthy, chief operating officer Christian Bearman, chief financial office Fraser Kennedy and group head of funds management, David Kirkby on the firm's European executive committee, with joint responsibility for strategy and operations.

Of the latest appointments, Valad said Bruhn, who is based in Copenhagen, had been running Valad’s Nordic operations for nine years, which comprises 6 offices and 50 staff in Denmark, Sweden and Finland and over €1.2 billion in assets under management. Kortebein joined Valad more recently in 2007 as head of Germany working from Valad's Berlin and Frankfurt offices. He was previously with Morgan Stanley Real Estate.

Valad manages 14 funds in its European platform with Continental Europe accounting for over 70 percent of total funds under management. It was part of a wave of Australian property fund mangers that made a big push into Europe before the credit crunch. In the wake of the financial crisis, last year it restructured its European business and created a joint venture with Bank of Scotland.

Valad injected most of its European and UK assets into the three-year venture.