DTZ Investors has hired Erik Sonden as it prepares to expand in Europe.

Sonden, who was recently a senior adviser in the corporate finance and real estate M&A practice at EY in Paris, is to help the company branch out into new markets.

DTZ Investors, part of Cushman & Wakefield, currently manages about €6.5bn of assets in the UK and €3.5bn in France, with approximately €500m in other European markets. But the company intends to hire new staff as it looks to increase its physical presence in the region.

DTZ combined its UK and French investment and asset management arms as DTZ Investors in 2014, a year before merging with rival real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Cushman & Wakefield had previously owned a pan-European real estate investment arm, but sold Cushman & Wakefield Investors to La Française in 2014.

Chris Cooper, CEO of DTZ Investors, said the appointment of Sonden as senior adviser came at “an interesting time for us”, as the company seeks to expand its “operational footprint” beyond the UK and France into markets like Germany.

DTZ Investors has already worked with Sonden on ventures in the recent past, including a French logistics development fund launched last year with more than €350m of institutional equity.

Cooper said the plan was to explore a second fund and expand into new markets and strategies, such as long-lease assets, residential sectors and Southern Europe.

This, he said, could provide opportunities for DTZ Investors’ UK institutional clients to move into new markets alongside other “like-minded partners”.

Sonden, who has been active in real estate markets for more than 30 years, including stints at Nordea, JLL, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale, will help with raising capital from international sources.

Sonden said was “huge interest” in European real estate from international investors, particularly from Korean institutions, for example.