EUROPE - Morley is looking to boost its business in Europe further with 'more people on the ground' and a potential eastward expansion of its property business.

Two new managers have been appointed by the UK-based asset management business of Aviva to the Morley European property team.

Natali Cooper joins the institutional side working primarily on the Central European Industrial Fund and Andreas von Gossler has been as named acquisition manager for the retail-oriented European Property Fund (EPF).

These appointments are just another two in a series set will continue, Ben Stirling, head of European property, told IPE Real Estate.

"In Europe, we have been expanding the team continuously over the last years
and we now have 20 people dedicated solely to Europe in the property team and some who have some time dedicated to the continent as part of their role," said Stirling.

"As the business expands we are definitely exploring ways of putting more
people on the ground in Europe," he explained.

Von Gossler, who joins Morley from German open-ended fund manager Union
Investment, will transfer to the Frankfurt office after working from London for a few months.

Stirling also expects a further increase of the Morley property team members over the 18 months, for which three new product launches are scheduled.

Morley roughly defines the area in which its European funds can buy as European Economic Area ex-UK plus Switzerland.

But Stirling sees good reasons to expand that field.

"Returns on investments on the continent have fallen and it has become more expensive to buy," said Stirling.

"We are to think about investing in the former Soviet Union and in Turkey as
they would be higher-returning markets. But whether or not these higher
returns would justify the higher risk in those markets is something we are
trying to assess at the moment. They are riskier markets than the ones we have operated in so far," he added.