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US investor sends staff to Europe for property play

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Oaktree Capital chairman and CEO Howard Marks

Oaktree Capital chairman and CEO Howard Marks

Bloomberg

Oaktree Capital chairman and CEO Howard Marks

US private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management is beefing up its European property division as it looks to increase its presence on this side of the Atlantic.

Oaktree is already involved in a site in Dublin's south docks along with NAMA and Bennet Construction.

The firm has also been an active bidder on loan portfolios sold by NAMA, and is known to have been an underbidder on various portfolios.

Now though the firm, headed chaired by Howard Marks (above), is transferring two of its top executives to London ahead of a push into European real estate.

Managing directors Manish Desai and Ben Bianchi have been moved over from US-focused work to help with the drive alongside senior vice president David Snelgrove. PERE News reported Bianchi is understood to be located in London only part time whilst Desai is based in Europe permanently.

Oaktree are thought to be focused mainly on Spain and Italy at present but continue to run the rule over a number of deals in Ireland.

A host of US investors including the likes of Kennedy Wilson and Blackstone, have made fortunes betting on Irish property in recent years.

Irish property remains attractive to US players even after capital values having increased sharply in the last year.

Europe in general offers greater returns than Asian property, and yields in Ireland are still attractive when compared to the likes of London.

Sunday Indo Business