“We’ve made the decision to launch a London-based team and have started looking to recruit several people who will focus on identifying possible real estate investments for our Gulf client base,” says Gary Long, president and chief operating officer of the bank.
The European team could eventually develop to the size of the US real estate team, which currently manages around $500m.
The bank is raising funds for its first Gulf private equity deal which it hopes to complete in 2008.
He adds that the credit crunch meant that future private equity deals would require a greater equity investment as debt was harder to come by.
This meant that the bank’s average 35 to 40 per cent internal rate of return since 2001 was likely to fall next year.