Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) has hired Andy Thomson as Head of Real Estate. Andy joins from Secure Trust Bank plc, where he was Head of Real Estate Finance.

His focus will be on driving forward BLME’s real estate strategy and helping to solidify the Bank’s reputation as a leader in UK real estate financing for clients from the GCC and the UK.

His role covers Real Estate Finance, focused on origination of development and investment debt for commercial and residential property.

Andy will also cover Real Estate Investment in which real estate assets in the UK are bought and the equity sold down to high net-worth individuals; and providing high value buy-to-let and holiday home mortgages.

Andy brings with him 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, having worked across investment banking, corporate banking, real estate advisory and challenger bank businesses. He has held senior banking roles in origination, credit, restructuring, and portfolio management.

Andy is joined by Anna Barratt and Tim Manley, both newly appointed as Associate Directors within BLME’s Real Estate Finance team. Formerly part of Investec’s Structured Property Finance team, Anna spent nine years originating and managing lending relationships, funding everything from commercial investment and residential development to planning and strategic land.

Tim joins BLME from ABC Bank, where he managed the portfolios of UK real estate clients with a focus on Sharia and conventional banking products.

The appointments coincide with an exciting period of UK real estate financing activity by the Bank, as it builds its position as an expert in GCC investor sentiment and activity in the UK real estate market.

Last month, for example, BLME’s Real Estate Finance team completed a £14 million funding arrangement with Beech Holdings to support a major project to build 140 residential units in the centre of Manchester.

Andy Thomson commented:

“It’s an exciting time to join BLME and head up the growing Real Estate team, as the Bank focuses on shoring up its market leadership.

I’m passionate about building strong client relationships and delivering innovative, ethical and competitive debt solutions to both GCC and UK clients, and am looking forward to putting this into practice at BLME.

Joining such an experienced and talented team means there is significant scope to build a sustained period of growth as a team.”

Andrew Ball, CEO of BLME, commented:

“With the UK an increasingly attractive proposition for overseas investors, developing our Real Estate offer is a core feature of our strategy for the Bank.

Investing heavily in building a strong team demonstrates our commitment to this.

With over 55 years of combined experience between them, I know that Andy and the team will lead our Real Estate Finance proposition from strength to strength.”