12:47 | 29.06.09
By Neil Spike
Wilson Lee has quit ING Real Estate to launch his own investment company that will target distressed loans and property in the UK and Continental Europe.
Wilson Lee, managing director at ING Real Estate Investment Management, is leaving tomorrow after just over 12 months at the company. Lee is currently in talks with two or three potential backers of his new business.
He was hired from UBS to spearhead the European activities of ING's global opportunistic platform and had been working on the equity raising for a $1bn global opportunity venture to take advantage of market distress. But the plan was scrapped in March amid a tough fundraising climate.
Lee said: "This is the best environment for entrepreneurs. Everything costs less right now and expectations are low, but over the next three to four years there will be upside."
Robert Houston, CEO of ING Real Estate Investment Management, will also be leaving the company this summer. Houston announced his departure in April, within a year of being appointed the role.
Before joining UBS, Lee was managing director and head of Lehman Brothers European Real Estate Group, which he built up over 17 years.