CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. has further strengthened its cross-border investment capability with the creation of a new regional investment team dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Headed up by Frédéric Van der Planken, the team will work with CBRE's 12 CEE offices to help clients take advantage of the region's rapidly growing investment market.
Total investment activity in CEE in H1 2007 grew to 6.0 bln., 28% up on H1 2006, with 97% of all transactions involving foreign capital. As interest spreads to newer countries such as Bulgaria, and into regional cities and locations, investors are increasingly looking for knowledge of and access to multiple markets across the region. CBRE's new CEE cross-border investment team will provide clients with a complete regional perspective and work with the company's local capital market specialists to coordinate the delivery of advice and execution wherever their business interests may be.
New Head of Investment for CEE, Frédéric Van der Planken, already plays an integral role on CBRE's EMEA-wide cross-border investment team. Frédéric previously headed up CBRE's investment team in Belgium where he specialised in large scale complex cross border transactions. Prior to joining CB Richard Ellis in 2003, he worked in the customer business development team for Procter & Gamble.
Also joining the new CEE regional investment team is Patrick O'Gorman as senior investment surveyor for CEE Investment. Patrick joins the CEE region from CBRE's Central London team and will be responsible for cross-border investment activity focused on large asset and portfolio transactions.
Commenting on the new team, Frédéric said: "Given that most investment markets in CEE are only scratching the surface of their full potential, investment activity is expected to grow significantly."
He continued: "With 12 offices stretching across 10 CEE countries and, unrivalled access to the global investment markets, CBRE has already delivered a series of ground breaking transactions for clients in both established and emerging destinations across the region. The new CEE cross-border investment team will build on this success and significantly enhance our ability to deliver seamless knowledge and secure the best possible deal for clients. Better co-ordination across the region will also enable us to work in close partnership with other CBRE cross-border business lines to complete more complex transactions."
Andreas Ridder, Chairman of CB Richard Ellis CEE, added: 'We are delighted to welcome such high calibre individuals as Frédéric and Patrick to our region. Pan-CEE investment now represents 4.5% of the total European market, suggesting significant growth is ahead relative to population, employment, size and economic potential. The increasing strength and breadth of our investment team in CEE means we are ever better placed to help clients to take advantage of the opportunities in this market. Today's announcement is particularly important given that the changing investment environment is likely to persuade ever more investors to look East."