Wachovia bulks up

Maitland Bruce has joined the US financial services giant to help strengthen its real estate business in Europe.

After stints at two other European investment banks, Maitland Bruce is joining North Carolina-based financial services group Wachovia as the bank looks to build up its team in Europe.

Since 2006, Bruce has been a managing director at Eurohypo, owned by Germany-based Commerzbank. He left the firm earlier this year amid a report of several high-profile departures from the bank, reportedly part of an internal reorganization designed to make parent Commerzbank a “one-stop real estate shop.”

Prior to Eurohypo, Bruce held senior positions with Hypo Real Estate and UBS.

Now, Bruce has joined the London office of Wachovia as a managing director and head of structured finance. His role will encompass the supervision of structuring, execution, and distribution of all real estate principal banking products in Europe, reportedly to originate equity and mezzanine investments for the bank. Bruce will be reporting to Bill Green, managing director and head of real estate capital markets.

“Maitland brings more than 15 years experience of investment banking and real estate experience to our platform,” Green said in a recent statement. “His combined experience, client relationships and established success at growing new businesses will be tremendous assets as we continue to build out our European real estate capital markets practice.”

His hire and other real estate banking additions at the bank in Europe are part of a drive to step up the fixed income business at Wachovia since Atul Bajpal took over as European chief executive and head of fixed income in June 2006.

The bank has opened five offices in Germany to help boost the origination of commercial mortgages. To staff the drive into real estate, the bank has also hired a team of at least five European real estate bankers from ABN Amro, led by Doug Tiesi, who was formerly the head of structured real estate at the Dutch banking group.

Wachovia is one of the largest diversified financial services companies in the US with 3,400 outlets and 40 international offices. In the final quarter of the year, it is expected to complete the acquisition of A.G. Edwards, which operates 741 offices in the US, one in London and one in Geneva.

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