BMO Names New Real Estate Investment Banker With Deals in Offing

(Bloomberg) -- BMO Capital Markets Corp. has hired Eric Dobi as a managing director in its North America real estate investment banking group as REITs raise big sums, partly to fuel dealmaking.

Dobi, who relocated to Chicago for the role, will cover real estate investment trusts, with clients such as data center owner Digital Realty Trust Inc., a BMO spokeswoman said in a phone interview. He was previously a managing director at both UBS Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG. At BMO, he’ll report to Ashi Mathur, the firm’s deputy head of investment banking.

Dobi joins BMO, the investment-banking arm of Bank of Montreal, as North American REITs continue to drum up significant amounts of money for deals and other purposes. In 2017, such activity, including purchases and sales of overseas assets, totaled $144 billion including debt, marking the third-busiest year since the financial crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A record level of deal volume can be expected in 2018 if transactions keep pace with the $61.6 billion announced so far this year. Notably, as a result of depressed REIT values, the average premium offered by buyers this year is 22.4 percent, more than double the figures from 2016 and 2017.

BMO has advised on at least one such deal in recent months: Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust’s pending C$2.48 billion ($1.93 billion) sale to an affiliate of Blackstone Group LP and Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc.

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