REAL ESTATE - UBS has completed its pan-European real estate finance team with the appointment of country heads for Germany and the UK.

New German head Torsten Bickart joins from HVB, where he was head of real estate portfolio lending for that country. Nick Hill was previously responsible for the European business at Lehman Brothers Real Estate Mezzanine Partners. Both men will be based in London.

“The UK is a liquid, robust market, which is pretty important. Germany’s the flavour of the day,” Lee said. “Torsten Bickart hasn’t started yet and I’m already looking at 10 German deals.” He added that he already had French and Spanish expertise on the team.

Despite current exuberance for German residential and UK office, he said he was not looking at deals in specific segments.

“It’s very situational,” he said. “In Germany it’s obviously residential, but we’re looking at retail and office as well. We’re interested in anything people want to buy, given the right leverage.”

The latest recruitment phase represents the completion of a team set up by Wilson Lee, who joined last May to set up the real estate lending team after heading European real estate at Lehman Brothers. Lee has so far taken a low-profile approach to building up the 17-person team.

“The team’s pretty full. We may add a couple of juniors and a couple more in 2007, but we’ve built up a decent team,” Lee said.