GERMANY - Fund industry association BVI has elected Bärbel Schomberg, chief executive of DEGI, as its chief spokeswoman for German real estate funds, including those for retail and institutional clients. The election was held at the weekend.

BVI said in joining its board of directors, Schomberg had assumed the duties of Detlev Dietz. Dietz will remain on BVI's board, representing the interests of the asset manager for Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest bank.

Prior to her ascension, Schomberg had chaired the association's special committee on open-ended real estate funds. The BVI elected Reinhard Kutscher, CEO of DIFA, as her successor.

DIFA and DEGI are German providers of open-ended real estate funds, with the former tied to Union Investment and the latter to Allianz Global Investors. Of the current €74bn market for the funds, mainly targeted to retail investors, DIFA has a 15.1% share and DEGI around 7%.

The German market for real estate funds for institutional investors totals €18.4bn. OIK, a unit of IVG Immobilien, is the market leader with a 30% share.

BVI also said Markus Rieß, CEO of AGI retail fund arm dit was, along with the other members of its board, elected for another term ending two years from now. The other seven members of BVI's board are all executives at the asset managers they represent.

They are: Axel-Günter Benkner, the soon-to-depart of CEO of Deutsche Bank retail arm DWS; Götz Kirchoff, chief investment officer of Indexchange; Wolfgang Mansfeld of Union Investment; Walter Schmidt of Gerling Investment KAG; Thomas Neiße of Deka Investment; and Bernd Wagner, CEO of Universal-Investment.