Aviva to expand real estate platform

The new global asset management business of Aviva has acquired US real estate investment firm Madison Harbor.

Aviva Investors, the new global asset management business of Aviva, has acquired Madison Harbor, a US real estate investment firm focused on multi-manager and fund of funds.

Aviva, the world’s fifth-largest insurer, announced in February that it was combining its asset management businesses to create a single unit. This amalgamated UK-based Morley Fund Management , whose property team manages £31 billion ($62 billion) in UK and European property assets, and Aviva Capital Management, an investment adviser with over $32 billion in assets under management globally.

Madison is a five –year –old New York firm founded by former UBS employees Edward Casal and Russell Bates. It launched the US’s first SEC registered real estate fund of funds, Madison Harbor Balanced Strategies, which closed in December 2006. Casal and Bates, along with the rest of Madison Harbor’s employees, will join the existing multi-manager team that reports to Nick Mansley, currently Director of Property Strategy and Indirect Investment at Morley and who has overall responsibility for the global real estate multi-manager business.

The team will be located in New York, London and Singapore. The new combined entity will have more than 1,300 employees in 15 countries across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia. Aviva Investors will combine businesses in the UK (Morley Fund Management), North America (Aviva Capital Management, MFM International, Aviva Investment Canada), France (Aviva Gestion d’Actifs), Australia (Portfolio Partners), Poland (CUIM Polska), Ireland (Hibernian Investment Managers), Spain (Aviva Gestion SGIIC (Gestora)) and Romania (CertInvest) and work in partnership with Delta Lloyd Asset Management in the Netherlands.