Protego Real Estate Investors ('Protego') has announced the further expansion of its European operations, with the opening of an office in Stockholm, Sweden. Lars Almquist, former Head of Research & Consulting Nordic Region at Jones Lang La Salle, has been appointed as Director, Business Development, to lead Protego's expanding Nordic presence.
The opening of the office follows Protego's successful launch of its €1.65 billion Nordic Retail Fund in June. In addition, Lars, working together with Protego's Head of Business Development, Charles Weeks and the Business Development Team in London and the Netherlands, will be working on the creation of new investment funds and vehicles, for investors seeking access to either domestic or international real estate markets.
Lars has over seventeen years experience in the corporate finance and fund management industries in Europe, ten of which were focussed specifically on Swedish and European property markets. Between 2001 and 2005 Lars was Head of Investment Strategy and Head of Research & Consulting Nordic Region, at Jones Lang La Salle, and was responsible for providing strategic advice to a number of major European institutional investors.
Since its launch in April 2004, Protego has grown property assets under management to over €3 billion, been active in the burgeoning UK property derivatives market, and launched three funds, as well as winning a number of third party mandates from international real estate investors. In early 2006, it opened its first European office in Amsterdam.
Commenting, Iain Reid, chief executive of Protego, said, "Our expansion into Europe is a planned natural progression for Protego and has been driven by a desire to offer our institutional clients exposure to a broader range of markets. The establishment of an office in Stockholm provides us with the presence we need in the region to implement an investment programme for the recently launched Nordic Retail Fund and to fulfil our wider European ambitions. Lars himself is an unusually widely experienced individual, whose knowledge of real estate markets and connections with industry leaders in the region will add great strength to our business expansion plans for Europe."
Lars Almquist, Director, New Business Development, added, "Protego has proved itself to be an extremely successful and entrepreneurial business, which has established a prominent position in the European market in the short time since its establishment. Its ability to raise over half a billion Euros from institutional investors across Europe for the Nordic Retail Fund shows its growing depth and reputation as a pan European real estate fund manager. As Nordic real estate investors venture abroad, Protego is well positioned to help them implement their international investment strategies. I also believe that Protego is well positioned to take a leading role in developing new approaches to property investment in the Nordic Region, including the use of property derivatives."