(LONDON, UK) -- Newark, NJ-based Prudential Real Estate Investors and Prudential Mortgage Capital are preparing for new business opportunities in the United Kingdom and Japan.
PREI has hired a team of professionals to expand its commercial real estate platform in the U.K. and introduce a series of U.K .property funds.
The team includes Charles Crowe, Paul Dennis-Jones and Andrew Grigson, part of the core group that managed the U.K. funds sponsored by UBS Global Asset Management. PREI® is the real estate investment and advisory business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU).
The team joins the company's real estate fund management operations, whose European fund management activities are headquartered in London and Munich.
Dennis-Jones, hired as a director, will serve as senior portfolio manager for the new dedicated U.K. strategy, with Crowe, also a director, leading transactions. Grigson, joins as a vice president to serve as marketing director who will oversee investor relations.
The team will manage transactions for PREI's existing commingled funds and look to create new funds for U.K. institutional investors, including pension funds, charities, insurance companies and others.
Robert Falzon, PREI's CEO of Europe, says Crowe, Grigson and Dennis-Jones "bring considerable experience and expertise with them, and will be an invaluable addition to our team as we establish a firmer footing in the U.K.
"While we have already been in the U.K .for 20 years, the sheer size of the market, along with our investors' increased interest, merit PREI continuing to expand that commitment."
Falzon adds, "With more than 45 years of combined real estate experience, providing transaction, financing, fund management, asset enhancement and management competencies, the new team offers us the chance to establish a dedicated and specialist U.K. fund management platform to provide real estate services and support to existing PREI funds, as well as the opportunity to create new commingled funds."
In Japan, Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. has begun offering loans for commercial real estate.
"Having a significant insurance presence in Japan means that our source of capital is both local and long-term, making our decision to create a platform dedicated to the Japanese commercial real estate debt market a logical one," says Thor Orndahl, a managing director who oversees Prudential Mortgage Capital's non-U.S. mortgage platform.
The company has received approval from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and will focus on providing senior loans at moderate leverage for income-producing multifamily, office and warehouse properties in Japan.
"Japan has traditionally been a short-term, floating rate debt market which, although not ideal for some investors, works when liquidity is high and loans are easily refinanced," says Tomoyuki Ishikawa, who heads Prudential Mortgage Capital's Tokyo office. 'We see significant opportunity in working with investors who recognize the value of matching their long-term real estate assets with long-term debt."