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FIG Watch: Reformed HRE Group seeks real estate dominance

Having emerged from a reshuffle in in the Hypo Real Estate Group at the start of the year, Hypo Real Estate Bank International is the most significant institutional response to the Pfandbrief Act yet. The merger of two banks with distinct business models and funding tools has created a real estate financier well equipped to match its hunger for growth, writes Florian Neuhof.

Robert Grassinger, member of the board at Hypo Real Estate Bank International Grassinger: diversification is key

Since HVB decided to dispense with its commercial real estate business in 2003, creating the Hypo Real Estate Group, the organizational structures in which Robert Grassinger, member of the board at Hypo Real Estate Bank International responsible for treasury, funding and securitization, operates have been in a state of flux. Grassinger began his career at Württembergische Hypothekenbank in 1997 and his rise in the Stuttgart-based institution has gone hand in hand with the restructuring of the bank around him. He has been head of the financial markets department since 2003, the year the Hypo Real Estate Group became effective, and became a deputy member of the board of WürttHyp in 2004. After the Pfandbrief Act and its abolition of the specialist bank principle came into effect in 2005, another transformation occurred. In January 2006, WürttHyp’s and Dublin-based Hypo Real Estate Bank International’s activities were combined. And Grassinger, now a full member of the board, faced the task of overseeing the integration of the market activities of the new organization, which is named after the Dublin bank but is based in Stuttgart.

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