GRE Finance make double strategic hires

GRE Finance's new appointments will help capitalise on the surge of opportunities in the real estate finance and debt market.

Clare Grimes and Archie Dickinson, Associate Directors at GRE Finance | PBSA News
Clare Grimes and Archie Dickinson, Associate Directors at GRE Finance.

Specialist real estate lender GRE Finance has announced the appointments of two Associate Directors from specialist real estate investor Octopus Real Estate and Hilltop Credit Partners.

Clare Grimes has joined the lender from Octopus Real Estate, where she specialised in the origination and execution of primarily commercial real estate debt transactions. She has gained extensive knowledge and experience through working with a range of clients, including funds, to deliver financing on a variety of assets across the UK.

Alongside this, Clare is Chair of the Association of Real Estate Funds’ Future Generation Committee and a member of AREF’s management committee, is a chartered surveyor, and holds a master’s degree in Real Estate, Investment and Finance from Henley Business School.

“Because of GRE Finance’s unique approach to real estate debt, taking on risk profiles that other lenders don’t have the expertise to support, it’s one of the most interesting firms out there. Given the economic climate we’re in, this is one of the most exciting times to join such an agile team. I’m really looking forward to leading origination efforts and working with Daniel, Michael, Archie, and the rest of the team to navigate the choppy waters to drive real and attractive returns for all parties.”

Clare Grimes, Associate Director, GRE Finance

Joining GRE Finance with Clare is Archie Dickinson, who carries over ten years of experience in real estate finance. Specialising in origination, underwriting and execution, past roles have seen him structuring and executing both senior and mezzanine development loans, working alongside high street lenders, challenger banks, institutional funds and HNWIs.

Archie began his career at mezzanine development finance lender Proseed Capital before moving to specialist development finance provider Hilltop Credit Partners. During his career, he has underwritten and completed on over £750m of real estate finance.

“The opportunities in the UK’s real estate debt markets today are vast, and the appointments of Clare and Archie to kick-off this year put us in prime position to seize what could be a once in a decade opportunity. We remained active through 2023, focusing on strategic asset management in the first half of the year before identifying market opportunities in the latter half and agreeing more than £30m in real estate financing. Our opportunistic and value-add approach, depth of expertise in property development and management as well as financing, and willingness to take on projects involving planning risk means that we are very well placed to support a range of transactions taking place in the market.”

Daniel Benton, Director, GRE Finance

Founded in 2020 by Michael Mirelman and Daniel Benton, GRE Finance currently holds a loan book of £110m against residential and commercial property. Remaining active through the economic turbulence of 2023, it agreed several loans over the course of the year, including a £6m acquisition loan against a student building in Portsmouth, a £4m loan to Midlands-based care home developer MACC Care to acquire two sites with planning for new care homes, a £6m loan to the retirement developer Lifestory Group and a £17m loan for a development finish and exit facility secured against residential development of 89 homes in Surrey.