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LaSalle to acquire Aviva’s multimanager real estate business

LaSalle Investment Management agreed to acquire Aviva Investors' $7 billion multimanager real estate business and Aviva's stake in real estate fund Encore Plus, which the two firms co-own, a spokesman said.

"We've entered into a binding agreement, but we are collectively not disclosing pricing terms at this time," the spokesman said. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Ed Casal was named head of the new combined real estate division of LaSalle, which will have $10 billion in assets under management following the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year. It is a new position at the global level. Mr. Casal was previously CEO of real estate at Aviva Investors.

Encore Plus, a European diversified open-end commercial property fund that has been jointly managed by LaSalle and Aviva for 11 years, will be run by David Ironside, chief investment officer continental Europe at La Salle. The size of Aviva's stake in the €1.7 billion ($2 billion) fund could not be learned.

"A strong multimanager capacity has become increasingly important to LaSalle's clients. ... This will enhance our capabilities to offer comprehensive integrated investment solutions across the risk spectrum in third-party fund investing, joint ventures and co-investments," said Jeff Jacobson, global CEO of LaSalle, in a LaSalle news release.

Euan Munro, CEO of Aviva Investors, added in the same news release: "This deal makes sense for both parties, as well as clients in the (real estate multimanager) business and Encore Plus. 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."

Following the agreement on the deal, Aviva Investors integrated its 37 billion ($49 billion) remaining real assets businesses, which includes real estate, infrastructure, structured finance and private debt, into one platform. Mark Versey was named CIO, real assets. The position is new. Mr. Versey oversees fund management, money management, asset origination, underwriting, research and business management. Mr. Versey was previously CIO for investment solutions, an Aviva spokesman said.