David Skinner, the managing director for strategy and fund management at one of Europe’s biggest institutional investors, Aviva Investors, has left the firm, PERE can reveal.

London-based Aviva confirmed his departure in a statement: “David Skinner left Aviva Investors in July to pursue opportunities outside the business.”

Skinner: instrumental in Aviva’s portfolio repositioning

Skinner worked at the UK insurer for more than 12 years in roles that also included investment strategy and research director, chief investment officer for real estate, and managing director for UK real estate. He also previously worked for Pramerica Real Estate Investors and DTZ, both in Europe-focused roles.

His duties at Aviva have been assumed by Barry Fowler, managing director, alternative income, and Daniel McHugh, managing director, real estate. They report to Mark Versey, Aviva Investors’ chief investment officer, real assets.

Skinner played a leading role in the ongoing repositioning of Aviva’s real estate funds business, which is streamlining its exposures to certain core markets and selling off non-core assets in the process. At PERE’s UK roundtable last year, Skinner outlined how the investor had been a net seller, divesting around 200 assets valued at approximately $2.7 billion in 2016 and 2017. He expected last year to see similar activity.

Fowler, McHugh: have assumed Skinner’s responsibilities

He said at that roundtable: “We have been rebalancing all of our portfolios to invest in assets in markets where people really want to live, work, play and learn and with a focus on high-quality assets that will be able to attract tenants all through the cycle.”

The rationalization of the portfolio was part of a wider reorganization that culminated in May last year with the integration of the real estate business with Aviva’s infrastructure and private debt businesses.

Since then, the combined business, Aviva Investors Real Assets, has grown its assets under management by 12.7 percent to £42 billion ($53.12 billion; €48.2 billion).

Aviva Investors is ranked 26th in PERE’s Global Investor 50 ranking with $14.85 billion of equity invested in real estate.