GLOBAL - The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, has hired Bill Schwab as global head of real estate, it was announced last week.

Schwab, who was previously managing director in the European real estate finance division of JP Morgan, will be responsible for managing and implementing ADIA's global real estate investment strategy.

The newly-created position will see Schwab take on the responsibilities of Majed Al Romaithi, now executive director for Real Estate at ADIA who assumed the additional role of real estate chief investment officer (CIO) in 2007.

ADIA, which is estimated to have around $875bn (€638bn) of assets under management, decided in mid 2008 a permanent replacement and change the title to global head of real estate.

Schwab will assume his role with immediate effect and will be based in Abu Dhabi.

ADIA said the decision to appoint Schwab was not a reflection of a change in their real estate investment strategy. The sovereign wealth fund admitted to being affected by the financial crisis but declined to comment further.

Prior to working for JP Morgan, Schwab was at Deutsche Bank for five years as a director in the real estate, capital structure and underwriting department. He has also been chief lending officer for Goldman Sachs' real estate division.

ADIA's real estate department has a diversified portfolio with direct investments and investments in real estate funds in the United States, Europe and Asia.