Aviva Investors taps BNP exec to lead Asia expansion

The London-based multi-manager group has appointed Bart Coenraads as head of its operations in the Asia Pacific region, as it eyes increased secondaries, and some recapitalisation, opportunities.

Aviva Investors has hired former BNP Paribas Investment Partners real estate head Bart Coenraads to lead and expand its multi-manager activities in Asia.

Coenraads, who starts at Aviva Investors today, was previously chief investment officer for private real estate at Fortis Investments, which was taken over earlier this year by the Paris-based bank BNP Paribas, responsible for the firm's listed and non-listed real estate platform. Prior to Fortis/BNP, Coenraads was senior portfolio manager of international real estate at MN Services, responsible for establishing the multi-manager presence in Asia dealing in both listed real estate securities as well as private funds.


At Aviva Investors, Coenraads will be based in Singapore and report to Ed Casal, chief investment officer of the insurance group’s real estate multi-manager group. His appointment takes the firm’s presence in the region to four, and 21 globally, with expectations Asia will become an increasing focus of secondaries activity in the future, as well as some recapitalisation opportunities.

In a statement, Casal said Coenraads would be “critical in building [the firm’s multi-manager] investment portfolios and relationships”.

Aviva Investors opened an office in Singapore in 2007, and last summer promoted Ian Hally, then the firm’s Asia Pacific head of strategy and indirect investments, to chief executive officer of its overall real estate operations in the region. Aviva’s multi-manager group currently has about $6.4 billion in assets under management and, according to several sources, is believed to be targeting $500 million for a recapitalisation fund, targeting developed markets, primarily in the US.

As head of the group’s operations in Asia, Coenraads will work alongside John Gellatly, head of the firm’s Europe multi-manager group and Russ Bates, head of real estate multi-manager in the Americas. Nick Mansley is the global head of the multi-manager group.

Last November, BlackRock transferred the management of two open-ended real estate funds of funds to Aviva following the departure of Gellatly, the fund’s manager. At the time, BlackRock said the funds, BlackRock European Property Fund of Funds and BlackRock UK Property Fund of Funds, would be renamed Aviva Investors European Real Estate Fund of Funds and Aviva Investors UK Real Estate Fund of Funds.