SWITZERLAND – Ernst & Young’s entire real estate team moved to the newly established Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. corporate finance division on December 1.

The team formed part of the larger EY corporate finance business unit, including roughly 30 M&A and real estate specialists.

It will use this move as an opportunity to expand its existing range of services.

According to a press statement, EY decided to make its service offering “more focused”.

“Under these new conditions, it has been recognized and agreed that the best strategic option for both sides is to part company with its corporate finance business unit, including the real estate team,” an EY spokesperson told IPE.

She stated that EY’s new real estate activities would be industry-focused, with a new interdisciplinary cross-business-units team composed of more than 50 real estate specialists under the leadership of Thomas Stenz.

The team would provide advisory and support services for corporate transactions, including valuations, due diligence, fairness opinions and tax/legal issues, said the spokesperson.

“Services such as M&A, real estate and capital market services - now offered by Sal. Oppenheim's new corporate finance team - will not be provided anymore by Ernst & Young.”

With Jan Eckert, Ulrich Kaluscha, Ulrich Prien and Philipp Schelbert in the lead, the team will also offer additional investment advisory and real estate capital market advisory services.

This move was also thought to solve “rising concerns and business limitations” due to conflicts of interest with the team’s audit colleagues.

“The former corporate finance capital market transactions activities could not be performed on audit clients, for matters of independence. This resulted in significant business limitations for both audit and corporate finance teams (including the real estate team) and consequently, in the strategic decision to part company with the corporate finance business unit,” said the spokesperson.

“It will form a new force in Switzerland’s transaction and real estate market,” said the statement.