Wells Fargo, the largest commercial real estate lender in the US, has confirmed its UK senior debt expansion plans today, which is to be headed up by Mike Marino who is to relocate to London in early February.
Marino, a 24-year commercial real estate veteran who formerly led the bank’s commercial real estate institutional metro markets group in Southern California, is to spearhead the bank’s lending drive into good secondary and prime property throughout the UK.
Wells’ US-based loan originators Robert Maddox and Cullen Powell will join Marino in London to support the UK lending drive, with former London office head Jimmy Gray taking on the role of senior credit officer.
Maddox, Powell and Grey will report to Marino, who in turn will continue to report into Chip Fedalen, head of Wells Fargo’s commercial real estate’s Institutional and Metro Markets Group.
Maddox and Powell will lead teams responsible for client development, underwriting and loan production in the UK. Maddox will also oversee Wells Fargo’s legacy liquidating debt portfolio in Germany.
Wells Fargo’s broader senior debt ambitions and risk profile closely resembles that of the departed lending stalwart Eurohypo.
CoStar News understands that Wells is likely to increase on the circa £500m worth of loans provided last year to around £1bn, seeking to lend to blue chip UK property companies and fund managers.
Fedalen said: “With the current void in capital providers in the UK commercial real estate market, we see a tremendous opportunity to support our clients doing business in the UK and to expand the delivery of these services to both US and UK-based real estate companies.
“With the current void in capital providers in the UK commercial real estate market, we see a tremendous opportunity to support our clients doing business in the UK and to expand the delivery of these services to both US and UK-based real estate companies.
“Our relationship focus, coupled with our comprehensive real estate platform, makes Wells Fargo uniquely suited to deliver a full set of financial services and solutions to our clients and to help them succeed financially.”
Wells’ London office will focus on financing REITs, and seek to provide hospitality finance, portfolio acquisitions and refinancings and, through Eastdil Secured, its subsidiary, asset sale, debt placement and advisory services.
Fedalen added: “With the addition of these three seasoned senior leaders in London, we are well positioned for growth and anticipate an increase in lending volume in the UK this year.”
In late 2012, Wells Fargo expanded its wholesale banking capabilities into Canada, including the addition of a commercial real estate office in Toronto.