This Citigroup heavy-hitter has been quietly hiring for a new London boutique
Senior investment bankers quitting the confines of a bulge bracket firm to do their own thing is a growing trend among big-swingers in London. Giovanni Gregoratti, the co-head of the real estate and lodging group for EMEA within Citi's investment bank is the latest MD to leave, and he's just launched a new real estate investment and advisory firm in London with the backing of some major Middle Eastern financial institutions.
Gregoratti is now CEO of Aegila Capital Management, a European real estate investment firm that originates, executes and manages property deals across the world from its base in London. Aegila already has the backing of the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) and Ossol Asset Management. Senior staff at these organisations including Simone Carminati, head of business development at BKK and head of asset management Mohammed Ahmed Abdulla Ali, currently sit as non-executive directors on its board.
Gregoratti joined Citi in 2001 following the completion of his MBA from INSEAD. He previously worked for Deutsche Bank and Bank of America in both London and Milan. He was promoted to co-head of real estate and lodging group in EMEA in 2014, alongside Julian Allen in New York as the bank relaunched its European business to capitalise on a surge in new deals.
Aegila Capital Management has been building a (small) team in London to support Gregoratti. Alexander Doobay, a former Credit Suisse M&A analyst who has been working at private equity firm Tristan Capital Partners for the past five years, has signed up to Aegila, while Ulf Nore, a real estate analyst at Norges Investment Management who previously worked for UBS, has also joined as an associate.
Senior investment bankers have increasingly been quitting large institutions to start their own boutique advisory firms, but in most instances these are one-man bands. Aegila, which gained authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority in May, now has eight registered employees.
Gregoratti was based in London and covered M&A, equity capital markets and debt capital markets deals across the real estate and hotel sectors. However, he was also involved with some big banking deals in the Middle East including the $500m flotation of Dubai real estate group Damac Properties in 2013. He graduated with a degree from Bocconi University in 1995.
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