Aviva Investors combines debt, real estate and infrastructure businesses

The combined division will look to tap into the growing demand for alternative strategies.

Aviva Investors is to place its private debt, infrastructure and real estate businesses within a new Real Assets division.

The integration of these asset classes has created a £37 billion platform under the Real Assets banner, which will be under the leadership of Mark Versey as its chief investment officer. The reorganisation will also see some parts of its business sold off.

Versey will oversee a team of approximately 300 professionals across locations in London, Norwich, Paris, Frankfurt and Toronto, with functions including fund management, asset management, asset origination, underwriting, research and business management.

His leadership team will include: Barry Fowler, managing director of alternative income; Daniel McHugh, managing director of real estate investment; David Skinner, managing director of real estate strategy and fund management; and Chris Urwin, director of research for real assets.

The division will focus on being a direct investor in real assets with full control over all of its operations. Consequently, Aviva will sell off its real estate multi-manager business and its interest in Encore+, a pan-European commercial property fund. Both will be acquired by LaSalle Investment Management, with approximately £6 billion of assets transferring on completion. Ed Casal, CEO of global real estate at Aviva Investors, will join LaSalle as part of the deal.

Aviva Investors CEO, Euan Munro, said: “Integrating our real asset capabilities 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.”

Aviva added that it expects global allocations to alternative strategies to more than double by 2025 and hopes to position itself to meet client needs.