Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has hired LaSalle Investment Management's Matthew Ryall.

MLIM said Ryall would be a director in its real estate research and strategy team "with particular responsibility as fund manager for the planned European fund-of-funds".

MLIM added that Ryall, previously director of European strategy and research at LaSalle, would report to John Gellatly, head of indirect property investments and strategy.

"We are delighted to welcome Matthew onto the team," Gallatly said.

"His appointment comes at a time when interest in property investment is continually growing as pension funds and other investors across Europe and the globe are seeking diversification through indirect vehicles.

"Matthew's expertise will be invaluable as we develop and expand our research across the region."

Ryall joined the then Jones Lang Wootton Fund Management in 1998. Prior to that he was chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.