Mike Marino, Wells Fargo’s incoming head of UK commercial real estate lending at Wells Fargo, has decided not to take up the post spearheading the US property lender’s push into senior debt on this side of the Atlantic, leaving the top job in the London team vacant.
Marino, a 24-year commercial real estate veteran who formerly led the bank’s commercial real estate institutional metro markets group in Southern California, was set to relocate to London to head up the bank’s lending drive into good secondary and prime property throughout the UK.
His decision is understood to be a personal one, preferring instead to stay in the US.
Wells Fargo issued a statement to CoStar News: “Due to unexpected personal reasons, Mike Marino will no longer be moving to London, but will maintain his position as head of Wells Fargo’s commercial real estate institutional metro markets group in Southern California.
“Wells Fargo is currently evaluating candidates to lead the Commercial Real Estate office in London, and looks forward to growing its business in the UK as planned.”
US-based loan Wells originators Robert Maddox and Cullen Powell have now relocated to the London office and start on Monday.
CoStar News understands that Wells is likely to increase on the circa £500m worth of senior loans provided last year to at least £1bn in 2013, seeking to lend to blue chip UK property companies and fund managers.
Wells Fargo’s senior debt ambitions and risk profile closely resembles that of the departed lending stalwart Eurohypo. The 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.
The new managing director of Wells Fargo’s London commercial real estate lending team, when appointed, is expected to report into Chip Fedalen, head of Wells Fargo’s commercial real estate’s Institutional and Metro Markets Group.
Last month, Fedalen said after CoStar News broke the story of Wells’ boosted lending ambitions: “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.”
Ahead of official confirmation, CoStar News analysed the motive for Wells Fargo to lend senior debt against UK real estate here.
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.”