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Aviva Investors establishes real assets business

Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), has formed a new Real Assets business, bringing together direct real estate, infrastructure, structured finance and private debt under a single leadership and operating structure.

With global allocations to alternative strategies, including real assets and private debt, expected to more than double by 2025, the formation of Aviva Investors Real Assets (AIRA) will position the business to meet this growing client need.
Mark Versey has been appointed Chief Investment Officer, Real Assets; overseeing around 300 professionals in five locations (London and Norwich, Paris, Frankfurt and Toronto) working across fund management, asset management, asset origination, underwriting, research and business management.
A Real Assets leadership team has been established, comprising: Versey, CIO, Real Assets; Barry Fowler, Managing Director, Alternative Income; Daniel McHugh, Managing Director, Real Estate Investments; David Skinner, Managing Director, Real Estate Strategy and Fund Management; and Chris Urwin, Director of Research, Real Assets.
AIRA will focus on being a direct operator in Real Assets, with full control over fund management, asset management, origination and distribution in its chosen markets. Consequently, Aviva Investors has entered into agreements to sell its Real Estate Multi-Manager business and its interest in Encore+, a pan-European commercial property fund, to LaSalle Investment Management. The deal will see approximately GBP6 billion of assets (less than 2 per cent of Aviva Investors’ total AUM) transferring on completion, subject to client and regulatory approvals. Ed Casal, CEO, Global Real Estate at Aviva Investors, will join LaSalle as part of the transaction.
Euan Munro, Chief Executive Officer, Aviva Investors, says: “Integrating our Real Asset capabilities into a single platform makes sense for our clients and our business. By focusing on our existing origination strengths in Europe and building out our product and global distribution capabilities, I am confident that we will establish Aviva Investors as a market-leading Real Assets platform. This is a key priority for our business.  
“Mark’s promotion is richly deserved. Since joining us in 2014, he has helped transform the scale and breadth of our institutional solutions offering, and was the obvious choice to lead our Real Assets business.
“Ed’s commitment in refocusing our real estate portfolio and his contribution to the Executive team are recognised by me and the rest of the business. While I will be sad to see him go, I wish him every success in future.”
Versey says: “I’m excited to lead the expansion of our Real Assets business, with a great team already in place and strong product capabilities. We have a long track record in sourcing and managing real assets for Aviva and external clients, and this new structure will allow us to be even more responsive in delivering the single-strategy and multi-asset solutions our clients need; whether that’s for capital growth, sustainable income, beating inflation or meeting liabilities.”

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