DD2GROUP PICKS FORMER RUGBY STAR TO DRIVE IRISH COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FINANCE AND INSURANCE BUSINESS

May 29, 2008

London-based commercial property finance and insurance specialist dd2group is to set up in Ireland.

dd2group has selected former Irish rugby international and Jones Lang LaSalle investment agent Paul Wallace to head business development at its new Dublin office which will also cover Northern Ireland.

The dd2group consists of commercial real estate specialist companies which have arranged more than £10bn of property funding and £20bn of insurance cover throughout the UK and worldwide.

dd2group was established in 1994 by property bankers David Birchenall and Douglas Gordon to outsource raising debt and equity and place insurance for specialist real estate investors. Despite challenging conditions, 2007 was its best-ever year and it arranged £1.8bn-worth of loans for clients.

At global property agent JLL, Wallace was primarily responsible for sales and acquisitions in Germany and the UK and has also been active throughout Western Europe and Scandanavia. He also worked with Jones Lang LaSalle Corporate Finance assisting funds with investment requirements from €50k to €200m, to raise equity.

Wallace who is also a well known rugby commentator and columnist said: “I am very excited to join dd2group and to be able to promote its unique offering more widely to Irish property investors. This is such an opportune time, as debt from many of the larger lenders has dried up. dd2group can provide access to, and structure a much wider source of international debt.

“However, what is also different about dd2group is not only can it arrange restructuring of debt, it can also provide crucial access to capital partnering through joint ventures, senior debt, mezzanine and equity funding and because of its strong associations with niche UK and cross-border investment agents it is also a great way to access off-market deals.”

Chief executive Birchenall said: “I am delighted to welcome Paul to the group. We already have a well established track record of working with a number of wealthy Irish investors on funding and insurance requirements for their UK and European portfolios.

“By having an Irish office we can now improve our service and broaden our offering to a new range of clients who may wish to raise debt or equity or place insurance. We hope they will want to take advantage of our reputation for getting deals done particularly in a difficult market place.”

During his rugby playing career Wallace played with UCC, Munster, Blackrock, Saracens, Leinster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. Before retiring due to serious injury in 2003, Wallace won 46 caps for Ireland and also played in all three tests in South Africa with the victorious 1997 British and Irish Lions.

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