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Wachovia talks big in German real estate

String of hires made to take on the big players.

Euromoney Liquid real estate March 2007 

Wachovia is planning to become a market leader in German real estate inside the next five years, with a market share matching its US figure of between 10% and 15%. Wachovia’s European real estate business was launched in January 2006 in London and Frankfurt, led jointly by Bill Cohane and Peter Riemenschneider.

The move was a part of a broader expansion into global property markets. At the time of Cohane and Riemenschneider’s appointments, the bank had already moved a team to Hong Kong to penetrate the Asian market. Wachovia wants to replicate the business model that has proved so successful in the US, originating lots of flexible, short-term loans and bringing them quickly to market.

"This is truly a natural outgrowth of our US real estate capital markets business," said Cohane. "We expect to have a European platform that over time is analogous, in both size and scope, to our extremely successful US platform."

That will take some doing. So far, Wachovia has not made a ripple in European real estate markets, let alone any waves. It has yet to complete its first transaction, according to Dealogic.

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