LaSalle Makes Major Double Acquisition from Aviva Investors

The deal is expected to close later this year and will make the firm one of the five largest global non-listed indirect real estate investment managers.
Jeff Jacobson, CEO of LaSalle Investment Management (Photo courtesy of LaSalle Investment Management)

LaSalle Investment Management is acquiring Aviva Investors real estate multi-manager business and taking full ownership of the management of the Encore+ fund in a double deal that will make the firm one of the top five largest global non-listed indirect real estate investment managers.

The cost of the deal was not disclosed but the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. Aviva’s REMM business has $7 billion in assets under management. When combined with LaSalle’s existing capabilities, the firm’s non-listed indirect real estate management business will have $10 billion in assets under management across all geographies and risk profiles.

The division will be headed up by Ed Casal, currently CEO of Real Estate at Avivia and co-founder of its Global Indirect Real Estate business. Based in New York, Casal will also be joining LaSalle’s Global Management Committee.

As part of the agreement, LaSalle will be taking full control as the fund manager of Encore+, the open-ended Continental European real estate fund which both parties have jointly managed for 11 years. The fund currently has a gross asset value of about $2 billion and has been recognized as a top performing fund.

Jeff Jacobson, global CEO of LaSalle, said it was a natural evolution to bring all the operations for Encore+ under one roof for the next stage of the fund’s growth.

“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 fund manager for the fund,” Jacobson said in a prepared statement.

Jacobson and JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich said the Aviva REMM business will also be important to LaSalle’s growth. LaSalle is a wholly owned and operationally independent subsidiary of JLL.

“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. This will enhance our capabilities to offer comprehensive integrated investment solutions across the risk spectrum in third party funding investing, joint ventures and co-investments,” Jacobson said.

LaSalle Helps JLL Growth

JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich. Image courtesy of JLL.

Ulbrich said the acquisitions mark the next step in JLL’s strategic vision for growth into the next decade.

“These are exciting and significant additions to the breadth and strength of LaSalle’s global investment management platform, which is an important part of the broader JLL group,” Ulbrich said in a prepared statement. “The Aviva Real Estate Multi-Manager business provides an ideal fit with LaSalle’s existing capabilities and the Encore+ fund also has an outstanding track record.”

Euan Munro, CEO of Aviva, a global asset manager, said the deal makes sense for both parties as well as clients of Aviva’s 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 strategy priority for our business,” Munro said in prepared remarks.

LaSalle’s global client base includes public and private pension funds, insurance companies, governments, corporations, endowments and private individuals. The firm has approximately $60 billion of private and public equity and private debt investments under management. LaSalle also sponsors investment vehicles including separate accounts, open- and closed-end funds, public securities and entity-level investments.

LaSalle, Aviva CRE Investments

Both LaSalle and Aviva have numerous commercial real estate investments in the United States. In January 2017, LaSalle acquired 123 N. Wacker Drive, a 30-story Class A office tower in Chicago’s West Loop, on behalf of the company’s closed-end, U.S. value-add fund, LaSalle Income & Growth Fund VII for a reported $147 million. In July 2017, Aviva teamed up with LBG Real Estate Cos. to acquire Hilltop Mall, a 1.1 million-square-foot regional mall in Richmond, Calif. The mall, located on 77 acres, has views of San Francisco Bay and is about 20 miles northeast of San Francisco.