use multiple providers, and typically on a regional basis. In the past we ve been targeting European assets, which are a key strength, but we re now targeting more global assets in line with evolving client demands.
BNP Paribas Real Estate
In 2007, investors from the Gulf region were investing heavily in the European real estate market, via asset management specialists or through direct acquisition. This trend prompted BNP Paribas Real Estate to set up in the region, allowing the Bank to better respond to demand and work closely with clients throughout the investment process. In January 2008, a real estate team was set up in the Gulf, with Olivier Ghattas in charge, and in 2009, Atisreal opened in Dubai.
Previously, real estate investment out of the Gulf States was largely focused on commercial real estate in Europe, and concentrated in the United Kingdom. However in 2008, the financial crisis led to a considerable decline in these investments, with investors shifting focus and increasingly investing in local markets. The Bank initially developed an advisory service for the local markets centred on the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia whilst continuing to work hand-in-hand with clients still wishing to invest in real estate in Europe.
The success of the Real Estate business line in the Gulf has been due to both BNP Paribas Real Estate s excellent reputation in Europe and to its synergy with other BNP Paribas business lines in the Gulf, especially Wealth Management and Corporate & Investment Banking.
Several major deals have been completed by Gulf-based Wealth Management clients investing in the UK. In addition to servicing clients throughout the investment process, the Bank would also often set up financing arrangements for these investments. Transactions have been carried out in tandem with client relationship teams from Corporate & Investment Banking, supporting both major international groups and large local Gulf companies. The major international groups called upon BNP Paribas Real Estate to help them find commercial premises and warehousing in the Gulf region. Meanwhile, local clients use the Bank s services for investments in Europe. In all cases BNP Paribas Real Estate plays an advisory role.
Olivier Ghattas, Head of Real Estate in the Gulf, is confident about BNP Paribas Real Estate s current work and its future. We have a real track record in the Gulf and we ve demonstrated our ability to work together with our clients in Europe and the Gulf States. We re in a region that is home to large numbers of investors and we ve certainly not yet explored its potential to the full. We expect to see strong growth over the coming years.
101B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E G U L F S TAT E S A N D I T S C O N T R I B U T I O N T O T H E E C O N O M Y O F T H E R E G I O N