GLOBAL – US data provider Real Capital Analytics (RCA) has hired Invesco Real Estate’s senior research director Simon Mallinson to head its expansion into Europe. Kim Politzer, current research director for Europe, will replace him.

"Invesco’s a great business and it’s doing well. I wasn’t looking to move but the RCA team is one I have known and respected for many years and the opportunity was too good to say no to," Mallinson told IP Real Estate.

RCA president Bob White first met Mallinson when he set up IPD’s US operation. White said this week he had identified him then as right for the job but the firm at that time lacked the business and capacity in Europe to recruit him.

The appointment of Mallinson, who started work as EMEA executive managing director this week, marks a shift towards the development of services "with a European feel".

"The top six brokers – like the largest managers – are global, but deal data are generally more transparent in the US because you have more reporting of deal information. In Europe, you tend to get just headline information. You have to do more digging to get the details of deals," he said.

Mallinson also said more could be done with RCA’s existing expertise and data, pointing to the potential for debt analysis, comparisons of prime and secondary assets, and expansion of RCA’s range of transaction price indices.

"European data is available on RCA. We know it, researchers know it, but the transaction managers don’t, so they’re relying on contacts for deals," he said. "That can work well for prime assets but if you are looking to sell other assets, RCA can help inform on who has been buying similar product which may be outside the mainstream institutional networks."

Meanwhile, Mallinson said cross-border data transparency and comparison would prove difficult without common definitions across markets. "Europe has different property definitions with different leases from the US standards. But there are problems with the language as well – with the way markets are classified. What causes problems for global management firms is comparing assets in London, New York and Tokyo," he said.

"I don’t think RCA fully appreciated all the differences [between Europe and the US] when we first entered Europe,” said White. “Europe is a more institutional market with a larger research community that is also more sophisticated. In the US, markets are far more correlated to each other, but in Europe with so many different countries and markets, any prior correlations are now out the window."