EUROPE - Protego Real Estate Investors has appointed Calum Barclay as an associate within its Nordic Retail Fund, it was announced this week.

Barclay, who joined Protego in July 2008 on a temporary basis and became a full time associate in November 2008, will be based in the London office and report to Nordic Retail Fund Manager Ed Fenn-Smith.

Speaking to IPE Real Estate, Barclay said: "I will be responsible on the investment side for disposals and acquisitions in Finland and Sweden and concentrate more on the asset management side in Sweden."

The Nordic Retail Fund's expansion in the last year and increased workload were the reasons behind the decision to appoint Barclay as an associate at the fund.

Protego launched the fund in June 2007 and has 51 property assets under management in Finland and Sweden valued at around €1.1bn. These include shopping centres, retail warehouses and supermarkets were there are opportunities to add value.

The types of investors investing in the Nordic Retail Fund are mainly large institutions from the UK and continental Europe, including pension funds from the Netherlands and Germany.

Protego said the Fund was unlikely to make any major acquisitions in the near-term future.

Iain Reid, chief executive officer and chief investment officer at Protego Real Estate Investors, said: "We are fully invested so we won't be making any further acquisitions at this stage and the main objective of the fund is to enhance the assets and create value, so there is a major programme of improvement or enhancement work of different kinds to help us across the region."

According to Barclay, the fund will be focusing this year on selling some smaller assets taken on during the acquisition phase in recent years that "don't fit" the fund's profile.

Commenting on how the Fund is coping with the financial crisis, Reid said: "It's a relatively muted affect in the Nordic region and we are experiencing a slight downturn in values but that is not a problem for us."