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Blackstone eclipses Brookfield as largest RE firm

The results of the INREV/ANREV 2014 Fund Manager Survey see the New York-based giant stealing the top spot from the Toronto-based asset manager in real estate assets under management.

The INREV/ANREV 2014 Fund Manager Survey, based on the assets under management (AUM) of 147 fund managers, has found that The Blackstone Group is the top real estate firm in the world, surpassing Brookfield Asset Management, which took the top spot in the prior survey. CBRE Global investors topped the list in the survey before that.

The survey results, dated to December 31, 2013, find Blackstone to be the largest fund manager with €78.6 billion of real estate AUM. Brookfield is in second place with €78.3 billion, but the survey notes that it still is the largest US fund manager with €66.7 billion in the region.

“There is a clear battle for domination at the top, with both Blackstone and Brookfield managing total assets worth at least 50 percent more than any other firm outside the top three,” said INREV chief executive officer Matthias Thomas in a statement. “Although the list contains no real surprises, our analysis highlights the diversity of approaches in terms of the breadth of investment vehicle type, geography and risk/return profile.”

CBRE Global Investors is the third largest fund manager overall with €64.7 billion, while the largest in Europe is AXA Real Estate with €47.4 billion and the largest in Asia is Mapletree Investments with €14.1 billion.

The survey also analyzed where capital is invested, finding that 60.4 percent of funds are European vehicles, while 21.7 percent target North America and 13 percent have an Asia-Pacific strategy. The share of non-listed debt products increased from 2.8 percent in 2012 to 3.2 percent in 2013, while the share of separate accounts investing in both direct and indirect real estate accounts increased from 20.3 percent in 2012 to 23.4 percent in 2013.

The research found that, of institutional investors, 50.4 percent are pension plans, 13.6 percent are insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds represented 7.7 percent. European investors make up 45.3 percent of total investors, while 39.9 percent are from North America and 14.2 percent are from the Asia-Pacific region.