Allianz Real Estate is to combine its European equity activities under the leadership of Annette Kroeger as part of a restructuring of its business in the region, PropertyEU can reveal.
Kroeger, who has been the CEO for North & Central Europe since 2015 and is a member of the asset manager’s global executive and equity investment committees, will become CEO of Europe from 1 August.
The move effectively means that the current structure whereby the activities in North & Central Europe and West Europe are headed by separate CEOs, will be replaced by oversight under a single CEO.
Alexander Gebauer, currently CEO of West Europe, will leave the business on 31 July after 13 years with Allianz Real Estate. Gebauer initially held the roles of COO and CFO from 2009 before taking charge of the newly created West Europe region from 2018. He is understood to be leaving ‘on amicable terms’, and at ‘a natural point’ in his personal life and career.
Kroeger will work closely with Donato Saponara, head of Italy, and Sebastien Chemouny, head of France, during the transition period. Saponara has been asked to lead the West Europe region on a day-to-day basis.
The restructuring of the European business is believed to stem from a desire to streamline operations and provide greater focus to shared initiatives in the region. It is understood it would also provide more scope for second-tier executives and managers to have a bigger say in structuring and advancing such initiatives.
In addition, since many of Allianz Real Estate’s clients and tenants in Europe are active on a cross-border basis and have a presence in multiple cities, they would be better served by a more uniform approach.
Kroeger’s selection for the top job is understood to derive from her close contacts with Allianz Real Estate’s teams across Europe, built up over the 13 years she has been with the firm, and her deep understanding of the buildings ‘in the field’. Prior to becoming CEO for North & Central Europe, she was CEO of Allianz Real Estate’s German business.
The move to a single CEO structure in Europe comes five years after Allianz Real Estate reorganised its European equity business into two broad regions. West Europe covers Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal while North & Central Europe covers Austria, CEE, Germany, Nordics and the UK.
Combined, assets under management in these regions grew by 72% to €44.4 bn (including indirect investments) from end-December 2018 until end-March 2022. Globally, Allianz Real Estate has €86.6 bn of AUM. The leadership structure of the other two global regions, the US and Asia-Pacific (APAC), will remain intact.
The latest restructuring in Europe is not believed to be linked to the move in 2020 which saw Pimco, the global fixed income giant, assume management control of Allianz Real Estate in a bid to strengthen its alternatives capability.
Kroeger’s promotion to the CEO role is the second executive change at Allianz Real Estate this year. In March, the firm announced that Rush Desai was stepping down as head of the APAC business to pursue an entrepreneurial career. He was replaced by Scott Kim, who previously led the real estate investment division of South Korea’s National Pension Service.