BlackRock Real Estate has begun the new year with another reshuffle of its senior leadership team amid the ongoing restructuring of the business, PERE has learned.
“As we start 2023, we will be putting in place a new structure for our real estate business that emphasizes our platform strengths in core and value-add investing,” Anne Valentine Andrews, global head of infrastructure and real estate, wrote in a memorandum seen by PERE. “This marks the second stage of evolution for our global real estate franchise into a globally-focused and client-oriented platform.”
The new structure will involve the establishment of BlackRock Real Estate’s global core equity platform, for which Paul Tebbit will become global chief investment officer of core real estate. “Paul will help us scale our platform and drive a unified approach, global knowledge sharing and thought leadership in a segment of real estate which we believe will remain central to client allocations and which is undergoing a secular shift as a result of the current market environment,” she said.
The launch of the global core platform follows the formation in September of BlackRock Real Estate’s global value-add platform, which Valentine Andrews called “the first stage of this evolution”. That saw the promotion of Thomas Mueller-Borja, co-portfolio manager of the firm’s European value-add real estate fund series, to global CIO of global value-add real estate.
Tebbit, meanwhile, has been promoted for the second time in less than a year, having been elevated from chief investment officer for BlackRock EMEA Real Estate to head of EMEA real estate last June. He succeeded Justin Brown, who left the firm after 10 years. Tebbit joined BlackRock in 2011 and earlier served as portfolio manager of its UK Property Fund.
Another regional head, head of APAC real estate John Saunders, will assume the newly created role of global head of clients, responsible for strengthening the firm’s relationships with its real estate clients and partners globally. He will remain portfolio manager of BlackRock’s Asia value-add real estate funds and become co-portfolio manager of the next vehicle in the series, BlackRock Asia Property Fund VI. Sharing the portfolio manager role with Saunders will be Hamish MacDonald, who will also remain head of real estate equity investments for APAC.
In other changes, Ben Young, head of US equity, is leaving BlackRock Real Estate to pursue other opportunities after nearly a decade at the firm. He will be the third senior real estate departure in recent months, following Brown and former head of US real estate investment management John Lamb, who left at the end of last year to join Berkshire Residential Investments.
Christina Lyndon will continue in her role as portfolio manager of the BlackRock North America Property Fund, after joining the firm and being appointed co-portfolio manager alongside Young last year. She also will oversee the US transactions and asset management teams on an interim basis until BlackRock has identified a new head for those groups. Additionally, Paul Winters, global chief operating officer of infrastructure and real estate, will serve as acting head of BlackRock Real Estate’s US separate account business.
“Our senior real estate leaders will come together in the coming weeks to review the business, agree on strategic and operating priorities and underwrite key initiatives for 2023 and beyond,” Valentine Andrews wrote in the memo.
BlackRock’s real estate business currently manages more than $35 billion in assets under management.