Ms Francesca Galante was appointed as an independent non-executive director on September 5, 2018. Ms. Galante is also a member of our nominating and corporate governance committee and compensation committee. Ms Galante has been the co-founder and partner of First Growth Real Estate, a specialist advisory firm focused on real estate structured debt arranging, restructuring and special servicing throughout Continental Europe since 2010. She has 20 years of real estate investment and advisory experience in both Europe and North America in office, hotel, residential, student housing and industrial asset classes. She worked on structuring and deploying all portions of the real estate capital stack, ranging from equity to senior debt, having worked on real estate transactions of approximately €12bn.
Previously, Ms. Galante was an Executive Director in the real estate principal finance division at UBS Investment Bank, where her role was focused on deploying the bank’s proprietary balance sheet in real estate debt and equity projects throughout Continental Europe. Prior to that, she worked at real estate private equity firm, Soros Real Estate Partners, where she focused on investing in real estate platforms in Italy, France, Spain, and also the affiliated Soros Fund Management entity, Ian Schrager Hotels in New York. She started her career in general M&A Advisory at Merrill Lynch International in London.
Ms Galante received her Master of Science in Management from the Université Paris-Dauphine and Master of Finance from Ecole Supérieure De Commerce De Paris (now ESCP Europe). Ms Galante is an Italian national and she speaks English, Italian, French and basic Spanish.