Change at the top at Lloyds commercial real estate

By Paul Norman - Thursday, May 18, 2017 0:30

Lloyds Banking Group has promoted John Feeney, its Global Head of Commercial Real Estate, to acting Head of Global Corporates, while Madeleine McDougall, Head of Institutional Real Estate, has been appointed as acting Global Head of Commercial Real Estate, CoStar News can reveal.

The appointments, which will remain acting roles until passing regulatory approval, follow the announcement that Clare Francis is leaving Lloyds Banking Group.

In a statement a spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group said: “John has held the role of Global Head of Commercial Real Estate, which is part of the Global Corporates business, since joining the Group from Henderson Global Investors in May 2013. During the last four years John has led the transformation of the Group’s Commercial Real Estate business. Prior to this, he spent eight years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a variety of senior roles across Europe and Asia.

“To provide continuity for the Commercial Real Estate’s clients, Madeleine McDougall, Head of Institutional Real Estate, has been appointed as acting Global Head of Commercial Real Estate. Madeleine has been a key member of John’s senior team since joining the Group in November 2014.”

Feeney joined Lloyds from Henderson in 2013 replacing Lynda Shillaw.

Feeney, who prior to Henderson worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch for seven-and-a-half years, had reported to Clare Francis, managing director, global corporates at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The promotions come as the government yesterday confirmed its remaining shares in Lloyds Banking Group had been sold. Lloyds said the government would see a return of £21.2bn on the £20bn investment it made to bail out the business in 2008 following the global financial crisis.

Feeney joined as the bank continued to rebuild its brand in commercial property lending and work through the giant portfolio of distressed UK and Irish commercial property loans originated by HBOS, the bank Lloyds acquired shortly before its bail out in 2008.

His period at Lloyds has seen a noted focus on widening the options for funding the bank offers as well as on securing higher returns on the bank's capital investment in CRE, for instance via a drive in to development finance.

In March 2015 Lloyds created a specialist team devoted to the financing of big development deals with a notable example including a 2016 agreement which saw it extend a £185m debt facility partly to finance the development of a new designer outlet retail scheme at The O2 in London for joint venture partners Crosstree Real Estate Partners and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

Feeney has also spearheaded a period when Lloyds has stepped up the use of its debt capital markets distribution platform to sell on loan parts. 

By its 2016 results Lloyds confirmed that the levels of debt sold down in the capital markets reflected a record high for the bank, completed to “maintain strong balance sheet discipline and a prudent approach to risk”. 

Feeney also forged a relationship in 2015 with Scottish Widows to offer long term lending facilities to the UK commercial real estate.

The partnership provides lending to established property investment companies to support new acquisitions and refinancing facilities across industrial, retail and office ventures with transactions weighted towards institutions with long-term investment priorities seeking to lock into an element of fixed rate lending, targeting initial LTVs of up to 65%.

At the time Feeney said the arrangement helped Lloyds clients access the full spectrum of real estate funding options through one interface and enabled it to target new clients with longer term funding needs.

There has also been a noted focus on staff recruitment and increasing skill levels particularly in core real estate knowledge. Feeney's successor McDougall was recruited from Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, where she led the International Client team in the UK, in 2014 and Feeney has recruited more surveyors and staff with specific real estate skills.

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