EUROPE - Austrian real estate investor SIGNA Group has appointed Michael Morgenroth to its management board while adding three new members to its debt team.

Morgenroth - who will step down as member of the board responsible for real estate and infrastructure within the asset management arm of German insurer Gothaer - will start his new role in March 2012 in the Dusseldorf office.

He will be responsible for the launch of real estate debt funds and be in charge of institutional clients and the German market, including the established real estate funds business.

René Benko, founder and chief executive at SIGNA, said the addition of Morgenroth to the team came as the company entered a new phase.

"In particular, we expect the dislocation in the markets stemming from the credit crisis to open up huge opportunities in real estate debt in coming year," he added.

Morgenroth said: "The significant regulatory changes proposed for the European investment markets mean real estate debt, in particular, is likely to be increasingly attractive to institutional investors in the future, presenting great opportunities for those teams that have the experience and capital backing to take advantage of them."

Patrick Züchner (currently head of real estate at Gothaer), Lars Armgart and Antje Bonnewitz also join SIGNA to assist Morgenroth on the debt team.