PAULINE Bradley, Bank of Scotland's well-respected head of joint ventures, has quit the Edinburgh bank after 13 years to join Scottish property group Kenmore as its chief executive.

The former corporate lawyer, one of Scotland's most powerful women, has left the bank she joined in 1991 for the challenge of running her own business.

A spokesman for the bank last night said: "We are disappointed to see her go because she's been an incredibly entrepreneurial banker, but we are very pleased for her."

The bank said it had not yet appointed a replacement for Bradley, who was one of Peter Cummings's (head of corporate banking at BoS) key lieutenants.

Bradley was key to the creation of the bank's successful joint ventures team in 1999, a move sparked by her part in selling Sir Rocco Forte Edinburgh's iconic Balmoral Hotel.

This deal pre-dated the creation of the joint ventures unit, but Forte has since gone on to work with Bradley's team in financing the hotelier's European expansion that has seen him launch a portfolio of luxury hotels in cities such as London, Cardiff, Brussels, Rome, Florence, Frankfurt and St Petersburg.

Since the creation of the joint ventures team, it has completed deals in excess of pounds-10bn.

In that time, Bradley worked on the pounds-1.8bn take-private of Chelsfield in May last year, and the pounds-2bn take-private of Green Property Company in 2002 - which at the time was the largest corporate deal in the bank's history.

Bradley said she was now ready to "take on a new challenge".

She added: "The current size and status of Kenmore holds great appeal for me. Add to that the calibre and track record of the management team and the entrepreneurial flair of John Kennedy, and I have no doubt Kenmore is ideally placed to capitalise on current market opportunities."

Kenmore was founded by Kennedy, its chairman, in 1986 when he bought up an old church on the edge of Edinburgh's New Town.

Kennedy demolished it, built a modern office with Georgian facade and underground car parking, and sold the investment to an institution after successfully letting it to a then fledgling company called Cairn Energy.

Kenmore now holds properties, along with its joint venture partners, across the UK and Continental Europe worth more than pounds-620m.

Kennedy, 52, said he would continue in his role as executive chairman following Bradley's arrival and would continue to play an active role in the company. Bradley has past experience of working with Kennedy in her capacity as head of joint ventures. Kenmore's biggest joint venture deal is with Bank of Scotland.