An interview with Paul Coates – The Property Chronicle
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An interview with Paul Coates

The Headhunter

Tim Green speaks to Paul Coates, Head of Debt Advisory and Structured Finance (EMEA) at CBRE.

Paul Coates has been with CBRE for just under two years, having joined to build out the company’s debt advisory platform across EMEA. He previously spent more than 25 years in the real estate finance world, being part of some major UK corporate finance and development projects. From 2008 for ten years he led RBS’s real estate lending teams across the UK and Europe, which he describes as an interesting, challenging and rewarding role to take in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Paul is currently chairing the Property Industry Alliance initiative to create an industry wide loan database to promote greater transparency in the UK real estate lending markets. Following the Vision for Real Estate Lending report in 2014 the initiative seeks to provide accurate, timely and relevant information about the flow of credit into the UK Real Estate market and trends within the market to seek to promote more informed decision making and risk taking.

Coates lives in Richmond, south-west London, where he enjoys the space around Richmond Park and the River Thames as well as being close to Twickenham, where he is a member and avid follower of the Harlequins rugby team.

What was your first job, and what is the worst job you’ve ever done?

My first job was working at B&Q, from selling carpets to designing kitchens. Worst job… I think delivering 380 free papers every week for less than £2 a week. In business I think a lot of the enjoyment (or not) is shaped by the leaders and the environment they create – I’ve had the fortune to work for some great bosses and mentors.

Was finance your first career choice and what were you doing before?

I turned down British Airways pilot training to go into the financial world. Who know where that alternative route could have taken me – literally… 

Why did you choose a career in the commercial real estate sector?

In a way it just happened: as banks started to specialise in sectors, I had a number of clients in the property sector – including George Wimpey, long before its current guise – so it was a natural progression.

Why do you enjoy the sector?

The Headhunter

About Tim Green

Tim Green

Tim has been helping real estate businesses with their senior recruitment needs for over twenty years. He has worked with a wide variety of businesses both in the UK and overseas. Curious by nature, Tim has developed an exceptional network, and numerous people have benefitted from his positive contribution to their careers. Businesses have benefitted from his ability to source exceptional talent. He also runs a quarterly Real Estate CFO Breakfast Forum with BDO Real Estate.

Articles by Tim Green

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