BDO Hires Former CEO Of Knight Frank To Grow Its RE Business

21 October 2016 – Expansión

The professional services firm BDO has taken another step forward in its multidisciplinary and sectorial-specialisation expansion strategy by launching a new real estate advisory business line, with the goal of benefiting from the boom in the sector.

BDO has hired the former CEO of Knight Frank in Spain, Alberto Prieto (pictured above) to lead this area, along with José Manuel Sánchez, from the same consultancy firm, who will be responsible for developing the real estate analysis and valuations department.

BDO Real Estate’s team in Spain will comprise between five and ten professionals, who will benefit from synergies with other divisions. At the international level, BDO has a team that specialises in real estate and construction comprising more than 500 professionals across more than 1,500 offices.

“The Spanish real estate market offers great opportunities. I don’t think there has ever been such a significant inflow of international capital like the one we have seen over the last four years”, explained Prieto.

For Prieto, real estate consultants operate more like “agents”, whereas BDO wants to attack another business niche. “At BDO, we want to go a step further, focusing above all on buyers, to offer them greater added value in the analysis of operations with technical, legal and financial advise”, said the Director, who has served as the CEO of Knight Frank in Spain for the last five years and who also sat on the company’s European executive board.

Meanwhile, Sánchez highlighted that players dedicated to real estate management and other investors from outside of the sector are participating in the real estate market and they will need to receive differential advise in terms of strategy and opportunities.

The Directors have identified opportunities and potential for transversal growth, taking advantage of the knowledge inside the firm, in line with the strategies adopted by the Big Four. BDO already has specialists in this sector in its legal team. In this vein, BDO recruited Juan Gómez-Acebo two years ago to lead the real estate practice in this division.

At the global level in the Real Estate space, BDO renders the following services: investment analysis, asset verification, comprehensive transaction management advise, liquidity analysis and planning, refinancing support and tax and legal advice.

Interest from overseas investors

Regarding the current status of the real estate market, the directors consider that there is “clear” interest from international investors to enter Spain. For Prieto, the Spanish market has changed a lot over the last few years. “Before, the attitude was anything goes, but now there is a lot more specialisation in the sector”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake