Sun Life Financial will acquire real estate money manager Bentall Kennedy Group for C$560 million ($455 million), said Stephen Peacher, president of Sun Life Investment Management and chief investment officer of Sun Life Financial.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
The purchase of Bentall Kennedy extends Sun Life’s real estate and mortgage investment capabilities and takes advantage of growing investor interest in the asset class, Mr. Peacher said in a telephone interview.
The two firms’ real estate investment management teams will be combined and operate as an independent unit of Sun Life Investment Management, Sun Life Financial’s money management arm, overseeing about $47 billion in assets.
Gary Whitelaw, group CEO at Bentall Kennedy, will report to Mr. Peacher. The firms’ existing offices and staff also will be retained.
Bentall Kennedy’s institutional shareholders — the C$114 billion British Columbia Investment Management Corp., Victoria, and $302.8 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento — approved the transaction and will remain clients of Bentall Kennedy under Sun Life’s ownership, Mr. Whitelaw said in the same interview.
CalPERS purchased a one-third ownership stake in Bentall Kennedy for roughly $100 million in 2012 and has about $900 million invested with the firm as part of its real assets program, said a news release from the pension fund Monday.
Earlier this year, Sun Life acquired Ryan Labs Asset Management, which specializes in liability-driven investing and fixed-income strategies.
Sun Life Investment Management and Bentall Kennedy had C$141 billion and C$27 billion in assets under management, respectively, as of March 31.