Hilltop announces new Chief Investment Officer
Hilltop Credit Partners Limited (“Hilltop”), a leading Pan-European real estate credit investment manager, has appointed Claudiu Gheorghita as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) to continue to build its loan book across the UK and bolster the firm’s expansion into the European market.
Claudiu’s appointment will broaden and strengthen Hilltop’s investment management platform and leverage its in-house technology-driven loan underwriting platform, Hilltop Credit Stream, to capitalise on the unprecedented opportunities within private real estate credit that are expected within the next 24 months across both the UK and Mainland Europe.
With more than a decade of experience in real estate principal finance for two major investment banks, Claudiu joins from Nomura’s Real Estate and Securitised Products division, where he was spearheading the value-add and opportunistic principal finance business, covering all asset classes within all major European countries. Before Nomura, Claudiu was at Macquarie, responsible for originating and underwriting debt and equity real estate transactions across the UK and Mainland Europe.
Hilltop recognises the acute need for flexible and bespoke financing to fund new developments and provide tailored liquidity solutions to stabilise already-underway developments in both the BTS and BTR markets. Hilltop also sees a significant opportunity to eliminate the complexity created by multiple lenders funding small or mid-sized developers, by providing a comprehensive, single-facility solution that can encompass the entire financing requirements of a developer, tailored to the current market environment.
Claudiu Gheorghita, CIO of Hilltop Credit Partners, commented: “I’m joining Hilltop with a clear objective of expanding the business operations across asset classes and gradually developing the platform across Europe. Supporting housing delivery remains a key focus of our business, and I am looking forward to providing liquidity to competent developers in locations with strong fundamentals. Due to the current market conditions caused by the shift in interest rates and geopolitical factors, we see an immediate need for flexible capital that can facilitate the start of new developments or that can help stabilise and complete existing ones.”
Paul Oberschneider, CEO of Hilltop Credit Partners, added: “Claudiu’s investment experience in structuring, negotiating and underwriting real estate transactions will help Hilltop respond to increasing demand for high-quality non-bank lenders as viable alternatives to traditional banks. He will have a particular focus on expanding our credit offering across asset classes and geographies, leveraging our tech-enabled platform, Hilltop Credit Stream, to underwrite loans quickly and efficiently. Claudiu’s experience makes him the ideal person to deliver our vision and strategy. I am thrilled to welcome him to our growing team.”
Hilltop Credit Stream, Hilltop’s real estate credit funding and management platform launched in August 2022, and has generated over £1 billion of SME residential development loan applications during its first four months. Capitalising on the ongoing market retrenchment from both more traditional and newer sources of financing caused by rising funding costs and challenges managing existing loan books, the platform is currently expected to evaluate over £4 billion of loans in 2023, a 400 percent increase on the business plan.