Patrizia makes ex-UBS real estate boss co-CEO

German property group Patrizia has announced the hire of UBS Asset Management’s former global real estate head Thomas Wels as new co-CEO, working closely alongside founder and CEO Wolfgang Egger.

Wels, aged 61, will start in the new position on May 1. He will be responsible for the further development of Patrizia’s diversified platform business and support the expansion into new business areas and international markets.

‘I had a great time at UBS over the last 15 years, but I am now also very excited to open a new chapter in my business life on the 1st of May with Patrizia, an independent real estate investment manager with an impressive track record of 36 years, a strong European footprint with global reach and a great entrepreneurial spirit,’ Wels wrote in an email to his business partners and friends.

’I very much look forward to developing Patrizia's growing and diversified platform business, leading the expansion into new business areas and regions in order to strengthen its client centric approach globally.’

Thomas Wels worked for 15 years at UBS Asset Management where he held various positions including head of Global Real Estate and Chief Operating Officer until 2019 and helped to build UBS global Real Estate & Private Markets arm to more than $100 bn assets under management. He joined UBS Asset Management in 2005, became a member of the UBS Executive Committee in 2007 and head of Global Real Estate, UBS Asset Management in 2012 when he also took over the position of Chief Operating Officer for UBS Asset Management. In 2019 he was appointed vice chairman and senior advisor to UBS Asset Management division.
‘With his broad leadership experience, international network and proven entrepreneurial skills, Thomas is ideally qualified to lead the further development of our business operations and help us become more agile and strengthen our local expertise. In addition, Thomas will develop strategies to accelerate the industry consolidation including our move into new real asset classes and business areas and to further strengthen our client centric approach globally,’ said Patrizia’s founder and CEO Wolfgang Egger.

The appointment will allow Egger to ‘further deepen the dialogue with Patrizia’s investors in key markets across Europe, America and Asia, and to focus on strategy development for innovation and cutting-edge technologies with the clear goal to lead the transformation of our industry’.
COO departure
Management board member and COO Klaus Schmitt has decided to leave the company to explore new career opportunities. He will support the transition phase and stay on in an important consulting role until the end of his term in December 2020.
Klaus Schmitt said: ‘It was great to be part of such a strong team and to build a strong pan-European organisation that is managing more than EUR 44bn assets under management with a global presence on four continents. Now I really look forward to exploring new horizons and would like to thank all Patrizia’s for their strong support and commitment during our tremendous growth journey.’


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