New Spanish firm to help local banks manage distressed assets

A Spanish company, Copernicus, has been set up to help Spain’s embattled banks manage and monitor the country’s estimated 400,000 distressed property assets.

The independent firm offers banks financial, legal and real estate expertise in managing problematic assets, and has already signed three Spanish banks as clients.

“In the current economic downturn Spanish banks find themselves virtually unable to manage more than 400,000 property assets, a situation which has encouraged investment funds to consider acquiring these assets at bargain prices,” a statement from Copernicus said.

The firm’s vision is to become “a model for value enhancement and asset management… the agent responsible for helping the Spanish financial sector deleverage either through the management of distressed real estate assets, or by the creation of financial structures to optimise the transaction process, offering a holistic solution covering the client’s every necessity”.

An integrated technology platform helps the service cover the entire management cycle of property portfolios, ranging from the identification of opportunities and their organization, to negotiation or workouts, litigation, property management and property sales and rentals.

Copernicus founder and CEO Jose Néstola has more than 20 years experience in investment banking and capital markets. In 1998, he co-founded Salomon Smith Barney Spain, leading the equity activity for Iberia, and was named managing director and co-branch manager for Citigroup Global Markets Ltd for Spain.

In 1996, he became president of the Japanese broker Nikko Securities SVSA for the Iberian market. “Our objective is to undertake a complicated task which is non-core for Spanish banks and which they struggle to handle efficiently due to a lack of resources and time,” he said.


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