The Team

The team are all recognised experts in their field and have an enviable reputation and track record. The firm’s culture places a high value on creativity, client service, responsibility and teamwork. When partnering with Waterway, you can expect significant engagement with veteran dealmakers, first-class transaction execution and the highest confidentiality and discretion. We believe our people are our greatest asset, so we bring together the brightest and most talented individuals to deliver exceptional service to our clients.

Christian Zilly

Managing Director

Christian is the founder of Waterway, manages the Frankfurt office and is responsible for all aspects of the transaction process on behalf of Waterway’s international client base. Prior to founding Waterway, Christian worked for various American opportunity funds as well as German open-ended fund vehicles. He received a Master’s in Economics from Freie Universität Berlin / Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil and a Master’s in Real Estate Economics from European Business School (ebs), Germany. He is fluent in German, English, French and Portuguese.

Hartmut Fründ

Senior Advisor

Hartmut is Waterway’s senior advisor. He can look back over a lifetime career in real estate transactions, having been with Arthur Andersen since 1976, where he set up the real estate division which later became Ernst & Young Real Estate, and serving as its head of real estate, hospitality & construction in Germany and Central Europe over the past decades. Hartmut also was a member of the supervisory board of Office-first from 2016 to 2017.

Ferdinand N. Lucas

Associate Director

Ferdinand joined the team in November 2018, supporting the management in all aspects of the transaction business. Prior to joining Waterway, Ferdinand worked at Situs Global Servicing, underwriting, managing and selling German loan portfolios and assets. Ferdinand has a Diplom-Kaufmann degree from European Business School (ebs), Oestrich-Winkel and speaks German, English and French.

Selin Sönmez

Associate Director

Selin joined the team in April 2021 to support the management in Business Development, PR & Communications issues. Prior to joining Waterway, Selin previously worked at AND Real Estate in Istanbul, Turkey, where she was responsible for international business development and corporate process evaluation. Selin has a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Middle East Technical University (Ankara) and a master’s degree in Sustainability and Urban Planning from Université de Tours (François Rabelais) in France. She has been a member of ULI since 2017 and speaks Turkish, English, French and German.

Christopher Krüger

Associate

Christopher is an associate at Waterway. Since joining Waterway in 2018, Christopher has been involved in a number of structured portfolio and single asset sales, including the €200m JUSTUS office portfolio and the value-add LIFT retail portfolio, as well as other complex single asset structures covering a multitude of asset classes and regions in Germany. He has a degree in real estate management from Technische Hochschule Aschaffenburg and speaks German and English.

Manuel Grimm

Associate

Manuel Grimm is an associate at Waterway and re-joined the team in July 2021, having been a working student at Waterway during his studies before. Manuel is involved in sell- and buy-side advisory of complex portfolio and single asset transactions over all asset classes in Germany. Previously, Manuel started at Ellwanger & Geiger Funds and Asset Management (now AIF Capital GmbH) in Stuttgart and returned to the Rhine-Main area to work as an investment controller at the Corestate Capital Group. Manuel has a degree in international real estate management from Technische Hochschule Aschaffenburg and speaks German and English.

Kiara-Sophie Staudt

Student Trainee

Kiara-Sophie is a student trainee at Waterway and supports the team in all kinds of preparatory research and miscellaneous work. She is fluent in German and English and is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree at the Technische Hochschule Aschaffenburg.