GERMANY - German real estate company Patrizia has hired a head of strategy to help grow the business.

The company now disclosed that Wolfgang Speckhahn, formerly real estate investment director at insurer Zurich, was hired as head of strategy and business development for Patrizia and started on 1 June.

In the newly created position, Speckhahn is to use his expertise in fund development, structuring global investment funds and portfolio management to help Patrizia grow its assets under management from €7bn to €10bn by 2015, the company said.

Patrizia said it wanted to grow its international business as well as increase its product development, but the company is also interested in domestic growth through purchases, such as that of the Bavarian GBW.

Elsewhere, German private bank Ellwanger & Geiger announced it wants to grow its real estate business by launching as many as three new Spezialfonds.

Currently, the company is managing around €1bn in real estate assets and wants to add "at least another €500m" in the coming years.

For the planned Spezialfonds, Ellwanger & Geiger is mulling German retail property, both existing assets as well as project developments.

Meanwhile, the UK-based real estate company Internos announced the first closing of its very first German Spezialfonds.

The fund investing in hotels has collected €75m in initial equity from four German institutional investors.

The four mid-prize hotels in Germany and the Netherlands currently in the fund will be bought for €100m, with related debt provided by Bayern LB.

Internos's Kapital Anlagegesellschaft (KAG), which is running the fund, said it expected to raise additional equity for the fund to reach AUM of as much as €300m to acquire several hotels that are under detailed negotiations.

In other news, German real estate company HIH announced it has bought an office building in Düsseldorf for an undisclosed sum for a Spezialfonds it runs for Warburg-Henderson.

The HIH Hamburgische Immobilien Handlung noted that the 10,870sqm office building 'Galileo', situated in Düsseldorf's banking quarter, was fully let.