Young Professionals in Real Estate Finance (YPREF)

Europe’s sole networking group dedicated to CRE lending professionals and advisors with less than 10 years industry experience

Communication Promoting and encouraging avenues of communication within the REF industry young professional community and beyond;
Education Assisting with career development by providing an educational platform through a combination of peer learning and access to leading REF professionals
Support Providing the tools and resources required for members to fulfil their educational and professional development goals
Networking Recognition as the primary convention point for all young professionals working in REF and to build upon the current CREFC networking opportunities


YPREF in 2017 Year to Date 

Networking at The Water Poet on 8 March & 13 July

Morning educational seminar at Ashurst focused on “Negotiating points for Borrowers on Facility Agreements”  on 28 March

Educational Afternoon at our Spring Conference

What the group achieved in 2016…  

YPREF was launched at our Spring Conference in April and by year end had attracted 350+ professionals

Ashurst and DWF LLP held an evening event at the Walkie-Talkie which focused on Fundamentals of the UK real estate market – an outlook for the remainder of the year and beyond

Educational event hosted by Knight Frank.

Networking at Flight Club

The popular educational sessions were held at the November conference attracting some 200 delegates.

What’s to come…  

Morning Seminar focusing on Hedging

Networking event TBC

Morning of education on 14 November at our Autumn Conference – registration open.


Thank you to our YPREF Sponsors

YPREF is co-chaired by: Ben Herson, Lloyds Banking Group & Rob Mersh, Eastdil Secured

Read about the core group who are working with us to deliver events and new initiatives for the younger REF professionals.

Ben HersonBen is an Associate in the Commercial Real Estate team within the Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking arm based in the City of London. He is responsible for originating, structuring and executing large commercial Real Estate financings for major institutional and fund investors. Lloyds Bank’s Commercial Real Estate team is one of the largest providers of funding to the UK commercial property sector.

Ben joined Lloyds in 2015 having started his career with German lender Helaba in their London office focussing on originating senior loans to a variety of domestic and international investors in UK commercial Real Estate. Ben graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a MA in Real Estate, he is a keen Squash player in his spare time.

Rob MershRob is an Associate in the Real Estate Debt Placement team at Eastdil Secured, the wholly owned real estate investment banking subsidiary of Wells Fargo and Company. The team is responsible for the placement of senior, mezzanine and entity level debt financings and CRE mortgage loan sales in the U.K. and Europe.

Rob joined Eastdil Secured in 2013 and his experience includes working on senior, B-note, mezzanine and whole loans, as well as land and construction loans. In addition to working on single-asset transactions in countries such as the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, Rob has also worked on a number of multi-jurisdictional, pan-European deals.

Rob holds a BSc in Real Estate Management from Oxford Brookes University and an MSc in Real Estate Investment from Cass Business School.

Sarah Winter “A future superstar at the top of her game.” Legal 500 UK 2015.  Sarah is an associate in the real estate finance team within the international finance department at Ashurst in London.  She has acted for a number of major US, UK and European banks, funds and financial institutions as well as large corporate borrowers advising on real estate finance investment, development and refinancing transactions.

Alice Greenwood MRICS, Knight Frank.  Alice is a Senior Surveyor in the Valuation Department at Knight Frank. Alice works across all core commercial sectors within the bank lending team, including offices, high street retail, retail warehousing, and industrial/distribution, whilst specialising in the leisure sector.

Emily Davies MRICS, Knight Frank.  A Senior Surveyor in the Valuation Department at Knight Frank, with a primary focus on London and the South East. Emily is responsible for undertaking valuations and reports on core commercial properties on behalf of banks and other UK real estate lenders.

Gregoire Millet is an Associate in the EMEA Real Estate Structured Finance team of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), based in the City of London. The team is responsible for the originating, structuring and executing large commercial Real Estate financings for major institutional and Private Equity investors across asset classes and European geographies. Gregoire joined BAML in 2015 and his experience includes working on large Pan-European senior and mezzanine facilities, loan-on-loans as well as loan securitizations. Prior to this, Gregoire started his career within the Corporate Finance & Transaction team of Westmont Hospitality, focusing on the execution of hotel transactions, encompassing acquisitions, divestments and (re)financings. Gregoire holds a BSc in Hospitality Management as well as an MSc in Real Estate Finance and Investment from ESSEC Business School in Paris, France.

Lucy Haworth Lucy is an Associate in the Banking and Asset Finance Group at K&L Gates LLP. She has experience of a range of finance matters including bilateral and syndicated lending, aviation finance, real estate finance and general corporate banking and has been involved in both domestic and cross-border transactions. Lucy joined K&L Gates in September 2014 and graduated from Durham University with a BA in History.

Dan Brown MRICS.  Dan is an Associate in the Valuation Department at Savills, specialising in loan security valuations of core commercial assets on a national basis, albeit with a focus on London. Dan started his professional career as a valuer working at Sanderson Weatherall in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, after graduating from Estate Management at Northumbria University with first class honours in 2011. Dan joined Savills in London in 2014.

Register your interest to become part of this network.  Contact Carol Wilkie at CREFC Europe: Carol