Michael Morgenroth to join board of Austrian real estate investor SIGNA Group (AT)

Michael Morgenroth, one of the leading figures in the European non-listed property investment industry, is to join the management board of Austrian real estate investor, SIGNA Group, which holds a portfolio with a value in excess of €4 billion.


Michael Morgenroth.

He is stepping down as member of the board responsible for real estate and infrastructure within the asset management arm of German insurer Gothaer, with effect from March, 2012. Together with a significant part of his existing team from Gothaer, Morgenroth will initially lead a drive into debt investments for SIGNA.

René Benko, Founder and CEO of the SIGNA Group said: "Michael Morgenroth has immense experience in real estate investment and is a very welcome addition to SIGNA's management board as we enter a new phase in the expansion of the company. In particular, we expect the dislocation in the markets stemming from the credit crisis to open-up huge opportunities in real estate debt in coming years."

In addition to the launch of real estate debt funds from the new Dusseldorf-based business, SIGNA Real Estate Advisory AG (SIGNA READ), Morgenroth will be responsible for institutional clients and the German market, including the established real estate funds business. Joining him at SIGNA from Gothaer will be Dr. Patrick Züchner (currently Head of Real Estate), Lars Armgart and Antje Bonnewitz. This is a team that has concluded 11 mezzanine debt transactions with a value of around €200 million since 2005.

Morgenroth joined the board of Gothaer Asset Management in 2004, where he launched a global indirect real estate investment strategy across the whole risk spectrum from core to opportunistic funds, covering Europe, the Americas and Asia, for a portfolio that was previously 97% invested in German assets. Gothaer's invested real estate assets under management now total around €2.0 billion in equity, or €2.5 billion including investments committed, in more than 60 funds. Total AUM across all asset classes is more than €23 billion.

Morgenroth is currently Chairman of the European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) and is also Chairman of the Property Commission of the German Insurance Association (GDV), where he has actively campaigned to make the voice of the real estate industry heard at both the European and German levels in critical areas of regulation such as the Solvency II capital adequacy requirements for insurers.

Michael Morgenroth said: "This is an exciting time to be joining the board of a leading real estate investor such as SIGNA, which is in a dynamic growth stage of its business. The significant regulatory changes proposed for the European investment markets mean that real estate debt, in particular, is likely to be increasingly attractive to institutional investors in the future, presenting great opportunities for those teams which have the experience and capital backing to take advantage of them."

Source: Bellier Financial

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