US/UK - Townsend Group, the North American institutional real estate adviser, has opened its first European office in London this week and appointed Adam Calman as head of Europe.

The London office is designed to make it easier for Townsend Group's North American institutional investors to invest in Europe and help the firm expand its European client base.

"We think this is the right time to open an office both for underwriting and also for new business generation," Joe Olszak, chief operating officer (COO) for Townsend Group, told IPE Real Estate.

"Being physically located in London we think will help client servicing and also the underwriting of local investment managers," he added.
According to Olszak, both Townsend Group's US-based and European investors are looking for global opportunities.

Around 10% of the Townsend Group's client base is located outside of the United States. The firm recently secured a new UK-based client and is currently drawing up a contract.

"The next 12 months to two years will be a fantastic time to buy so we intend to offer both discretionary and non-discretionary advisory services to European pension plans and other institutional clients," said Olszak.

Two professional advisers will make up the new office initially and the firm hopes to grow the business to a team of up to six people.

Olszak said Townsend Group has no immediate plans to open other European offices but said it was something they would consider.

Calman joined Townsend Group from Cushman & Wakefield, where he was an equity partner and co-head of the London-based corporate finance team, specialising in advising institutional investors about their indirect property vehicles and derivative assets.

Townsend currently advises institutional clients in America, Asia and Europe which collectively have over $100bn (€75.4bn) in property assets.

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