UK – John Feeney, the former banker hired by Henderson Global Investors last year to lead its new real estate debt platform, will join Lloyds Banking Group in May.

Feeney will become managing director and head of corporate real estate at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, a position vacated by the departure of Lynda Shillaw to Scottish Widows Investment Partnership last year.

The move sees Feeney return to the banking industry at a time when Henderson is seeking to establish itself as a real estate debt fund manager in the UK.

The firm is currently raising capital for two vehicles targeting senior and junior debt, respectively.

Henderson stressed that Feeney would continue to concentrate on his role at the firm until his move on 1 May and that the organisation was "firmly committed to the real estate debt sector".

In a statement, it said: "Despite John’s departure, a significant real estate debt capability remains in place. Henderson has a strong track record in real estate-backed debt investment, underwriting loans and property investment through its property and fixed income operations."

It added: "The two businesses will continue to work closely together in order to grow the platform and to deliver product solutions for a range of investors."

Henderson also revealed it was "engaging with a strategic partner regarding the development of our debt platform", which, it said, "would add both scale and expertise to our offering."

The fund manager was unable to provide any more details about the organisation it was courting but said it hoped to conclude discussions by the summer.

Feeney's move to Lloyds comes soon after the banking group revealed it would seek to make £6bn (€6.9bn) in new commercial real estate lending deals in 2013.