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SWIP expands its real estate investment team

Geoff Hepburn joined SWIP in January from Hartwell, a privately owned property company in the South East of England, where he was development and investment manager and responsible for prime central London developments. Based in Edinburgh, Geoff reports to Nick Ireland and is primarily responsible for the management of the Halifax Investment Fund Managers Limited1 (HIFML) property fund.
In addition to the appointment of Geoff, the team has also been strengthened by six internal promotions. Ross Braithwaite is promoted from investment manager to investment director. He joined SWIP in September 2003 and manages the recently launched SWIP/CWI Pan European Urban Retail Fund, a Luxembourg domiciled fund investing in urban retail property in France, Germany and Sweden.
Paul Findlay is also promoted to investment director. He joined SWIP in 2007 and is responsible for managing the SWIP European Balanced Property Fund.
Also promoted is Veronica Gallo-Alvarez who joined SWIP as an investment manager in June 2011. She manages the Clerical Medical Non Sterling Sarl property fund with assets in France, Spain and Belgium.
Other promotions include Kerri Hunter who joined SWIP in August 2003 and is deputy fund Manager of the £2.3bn SWIP Property Trust (SWIPPT), James McLean who is the Lead Fund Manager for the Scottish Widows Unit Funds Pensions (SWUF) Ltd and Nick Smith who joined SWIP in 2004 and manages the Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust (AIPUT), a specialist property trust managing approximately £420 million of assets.
In their new roles as investment directors: Braithwaite, Findlay and Gallo-Alvarez will join the International Real Estate Investment Committee; whilst Hunter, McLean and Smith will sit on the UK Real Estate Investment Committee.
‘Last year was a year of substantial growth for SWIP’s real estate team as we saw our assets under management increase by almost 40%, from £6.1 billon in 2010 to £8.5 billion in 2011. As we continue to grow, it is necessary to resource our business appropriately,’ said Malcolm Naish, director of real estate, SWIP.

‘In addition to bringing new talent to the business, it is also essential to recognise the hard work and commitment shown by our existing colleagues. The strength, stability and calibre of our team will ensure SWIP’s real estate business continues to grow in 2012 and will help us achieve our ambitious growth plans and provide superior returns for our investors,’ he added.