Wells Fargo hires negotiator HSBC Free to lead commercial real estate in Europe

Wells Fargo has hired a senior HSBC trader to lead a further expansion of its commercial real estate finance business in Europe.

Nicola Free, who has spent the past three years with the British lender, will join Wells Fargo as head of commercial property in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on March 1, according to an internal memo seen by Financial News.

“In his new role, Nicola will focus on expanding our CRE platform in the Emea region to enhance our capital markets capabilities while deepening our on-balance sheet presence with clients in the region and the US. “, says the memo from Nipul Patel, head of real estate. banking, and Rob Ritchie, international head of banking and capital markets, said.

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Free worked at AIG, GE Real Estate and Bank of America during a 20-year career in the city. She was most recently Head of Real Estate Finance for Emea at HSBC.

The commercial real estate team is an “essential component of the [corporate and investment bank] strategic plan,” the Wells Fargo memo reads.

Wells Fargo has gradually strengthened its operations outside the United States, where it still derives most of its investment banking revenue. Charlotte Weir, who led corporate debt capital markets for the Emea area at Barclays, left the UK lender in November after 20 years to lead Wells Fargo’s European corporate bank.

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Wells Fargo also hired NatWest’s James Marriott for its DCM team and Rahul Rajesh to lead its coverage of financial institutions in the Emea region last year.

Free is an advocate for diversity in the banking industry, says the memo announcing his appointment.

“Throughout her career, she has led various talent management initiatives to support gender balance and social mobility,” according to the memo.

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