Global real estate investment manager LaSalle Investment Management has inked a deal to acquire the Real Estate Multi-Manager (REMM) business of Aviva Investors, and full ownership of the management of the Europe-focused Encore+ fund.
Aviva’s REMM business has $7 bn (€6.04 bn) of assets under management. LaSalle and Aviva have entered into a binding contract and the deal is expected to close by the end of year.
Together with its existing capabilities, the acquisition makes LaSalle one of the top five largest global non-listed indirect real estate investment managers with combined assets under management of $10 bn across all geographies and risk profiles.
'I am delighted to announce this joint acquisition of Aviva’s REMM business and its interest in the management of the Encore+ fund,' said Jeff Jacobson, global CEO of LaSalle Investment Management.
'A strong multi-manager capacity has become increasingly important to LaSalle’s clients and our global footprint and expertise provide a solid foundation to strengthen the incoming global indirect capabilities,' Jacobson added.
Ed Casal to head up new division
The division will be headed up by Ed Casal, who, as part of the acquisition, will join LaSalle from his current role as CEO of real estate at Aviva and co-founder of its global indirect real estate business. Casal, who will be based in New York, will also be joining LaSalle’s global management committee.
LaSalle will also be acquiring Aviva’s rights and responsibilities as the fund manager of Encore+, the open-ended Continental European real estate fund which has been jointly managed and run by both parties for 11 years.
LaSalle will become the sole manager of Encore+ and David Ironside will become the fund manager. The fund, which currently has a gross asset value of €1.7 bn, was recently recognised as the best performing fund in the IPD PEPFI for 2017. It has also been the top performing fund in the index on an aggregate five-year basis.
'We have always regarded Encore+ as our flagship diversified open-end fund in continental Europe and I am delighted that we will become the sole manager for the fund,' added Jacobson. 'LaSalle has been a co-sponsor of the fund since its inception and I consider it a natural evolution to bring all operations under one roof in the next stage of its growth.'
'This deal makes sense for both parties, as well as clients in the REMM business and Encore+. We will now focus our efforts on being a direct operator in our chosen markets in real assets, which is a strategic priority for our business,' concluded Euan Munro, CEO of Aviva Investors.
The deal follows the announcement earlier this month that real estate services firm Colliers International would be making a 'transformational' investment in Chicago-based investment firm Harrison Street Real Estate Capital with the purchase of a 75% stake for $550 mln.