Jack Chandler becomes global head of real estate at BlackRock

The 25-year veteran of global real estate firm LaSalle Investment Management is leaving to oversee BlackRock's $13bn real estate business.

Jack Chandler, one of the driving forces behind LaSalle Investment Management’s growth into Asia, has resigned after 25 years with the company to join BlackRock as global head of real estate.

PERE revealed earlier today that the veteran of Chicago-based LaSalle, which is one of the biggest private equity real estate businesses in the world, was leaving to take up a leadership position with a New York-based firm.

This afternoon, BlackRock said Chandler was joining to oversee the firm's $13 billion global real estate equity and debt investments under management and would report to Matthew Botein, head of BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI) which has a total of $109 billion of assets.

In a statement issued by BlackRock, Botein said: “We’re delighted to be bringing an executive of Jack’s caliber to BlackRock. As we work to round-out the alternative offerings within BAI, real estate will be a central component of our product menu. Jack’s depth of experience and deep understanding of the global real estate markets will significantly accelerate our ability to offer clients best-in-class investment products.”

He is taking over from Paul Audet, senior managing director, who assumed interim leadership for BlackRock’s real estate business in 2008. Audet will transition to other executive responsibilities within BlackRock where he previously held the roles of head of cash management, and before that, chief financial officer. 

News of Chandler's role comes 24 hours after LaSalle staff were told of his departure by global chief executive officer, Jeff Jacobson. In an internal announcement, he said: “It is with bittersweet emotions that today I announce the resignation of Jack Chandler from LaSalle Investment Management. Jack moves on from his 25-year tenure at LaSalle to take up a leadership opportunity within the real estate investment management business. Jack has been a colleague and friend for almost 25 years and during which time he has distinguished himself as a creative and astute professional.”

Jacobson added: “In 2000 in the aftermath of the Asia Financial Crisis, Jack relocated to open our Singapore office and help build our then-new Asia Pacific platform. Today, our business in that region manages approximately $8 billion in assets under management, employs more than 200 employees, and since 2002 has completed more than $12 billion in transactions.”

“Asia today is a significant operation for our company and we are committed to the region and the opportunities we see there. We have a well established regional brand that has the full support of the global business and our parent company Jones Lang LaSalle, and Jack and I are both confident that our Asia operation is in the strongest position it has ever been.”

To help keep the business moving forward, Jacobson said the firm had experienced resources covering every facet of the investment, asset management, finance and operations spectrum. That includes a veteran management team led by Phil Ling, the chief executive officer of Asia, and Mark Gabbay, Asia chief investment officer. 

In the statement, Jacobson said: “We are also fortunate to have made a number of positive additions to the team over the last couple of years. While I will miss working with Jack, I look forward to a smooth transition that reflects our culture and puts clients’ interests first. I wish Jack all the best.”

The news comes a few weeks after Chandler was appointed to the newly created position of global chief investment officer as well executive chairman for LaSalle’s business in Asia.