GLOBAL - George Jautze has retired as chief executive of ING Real Estate Investment Management (ING REIM) after less than 12 months in the role.

Jautze worked for more than 20 years in the real estate business of ING Real Estate, but took on his most recent role in April 2009, following the departure of Robert Houston.

He joined ING Real Estate's management board in 2001 with responsibility for investment management and was appointed CEO of ING Real Estate in 2005.

After the decoupling of ING Real Estate in July 2009, Jautze took on the role of CEO at ING REIM, which was envisaged to become part of ING's global investment management platform.

ING then announced in October 2009 that it would separate its banking and insurance operations, and would therefore continue to manage ING REIM as a separately-managed global entity within ING Commercial Banking - instead of amalgamating it into ING Investment Management as previously planned.

William Connelly, head of banking services within ING Commercial Banking will assume responsibility ING REIM in addition to his current role.

"In light of the recent decision to keep ING REIM with the bank, it is a natural moment for George Jautze to retire and to hand over responsibilities to William Connelly," said Eric Boyer, CEO of commercial banking and vice-chairman of the management board banking of ING Group.

"ING is very grateful to George Jautze for transforming ING REIM into a truly global business and taking it to the top league of real estate investment managers worldwide."

ING said its main priority at this time was to "successfully disentangle" banking and insurance and "execute the separation in a way that maximises value for all stakeholders".

It said the transfer of ING REIM to ING Investment Management would add further complexity to this objective.

That said, ING remains committed as a co-investor to ING REIM and its existing funds and said it would continue to co-invest in ING REIM's new business initiatives.

Elsewhere within the company, ING REIM has also hired a new head of asset management for Hungary and Romania.

Gijs Klomp's appointment follows a decision to combine both countries into one management centre.