Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers Europe has recruited Kristina Foster from RBS’ non-core real estate division to aid the senior lending team’s expansion into mainland Europe and search for higher yielding senior loan investments.
At Cornerstone, Foster will be responsible for sourcing new real estate financing opportunities to expand Cornerstone’s debt business, both in the UK and in mainland Europe.
She will also assist in developing the investment strategy, the marketing programme and structuring debt products in line with client requirements, and actively sourcing investments for Cornerstone’s existing clients.
Foster is a RICS qualified real estate banker who has over 16 years’ experience across origination and restructuring environments in real estate markets.
She was responsible for a circa £500m mixed portfolio of performing and under performing loans, with additional responsibility for RBS minority equity investments with a total underlying asset value in excess of £1.2bn.
During her time at RBS, Foster’s personal deal flow amounted to over £1bn across UK and European loan origination and restructuring. Prior to RBS, Kristina worked at DTZ, where she completed the graduate training programme and RICS qualification, before joining its European valuation and advisory team.
Bates said: “Kristina is a great addition to the real estate finance team, and her proven track record in debt origination and management will be invaluable in helping us grow our existing circa £400m loan book. She joins the company at a time when we are looking for further transactions in both the UK and across our territories, in particular, using Kristina’s specialised expertise to seek higher yielding and Continental European opportunities.”
Charles Weeks, chief executive at Cornerstone Europe, said: “We have a very real and strong ambition to build out a market leading real estate debt platform in Europe, leveraging the US$28bn programme we have in the US, and Kristina’s appointment is another step towards that goal.”
Cornerstone closed its first loan under Bates last week, a 10-year fixed rate, £124m senior loan for UNITE Group, the UK’s largest developer and manager of student accommodation, secured against a portfolio of four student accommodation properties in London, Bristol, Sheffield and Coventry.
The student accommodation portfolio – totalling 3,023 beds – is valued at £248m, and the LTV at 50%. Cornerstone closed £305m of senior debt in the UK in the fourth quarter of last year.
In a statement last week, Bates said of the Unite senior loan: “We have developed a strong relationship with UNITE, which ensured that this significant transaction was closed within a month of agreeing terms.
“The transaction is another example of our proven ability to originate and execute large ticket financing opportunities with high calibre counterparties secured against quality income generating assets. We are exploring a number of other investment opportunities with similar characteristics as we continue to expand our European debt platform.”