REAL ESTATE - Merrill Lynch has poached two Citibank staff for its real estate arm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Incoming managing director Joe Pedlow will expand the bank’s London-based commercial real estate financing team with financial sponsors and other investment clients in Europe. Jerome Anselme comes in as a director in the same team.

Both join from Citibank’s European real estate and securitisation business.

Merrill Lynch said the two men would help to grow the bank’s existing real estate finance activities in Europe.

A spokeswoman for the investment bank said the move was “a result of what’s happening in the real estate market, especially the strength of leveraged finance”.

She declined to comment on likely planned additions to the team.

Both Pedlow and Anselme will join Merrill Lynch in three months, after serving out their contracts at Citibank.