Manulife, Allianz form $1bn US joint venture

The venture includes Manulife’s sale of majority interests in two trophy office buildings to Allianz. 

Manulife Asset Management Private Markets, the private asset management arm of Toronto-based financial services company Manulife, has forged a new co-investment partnership with German insurer Allianz that will see the two parties plan to invest up to $1 billion in US real estate.

As part of the transaction, John Hancock Real Estate, the US property business of Manulife Asset Management, has sold an 80 percent interest in two of its Class A office properties to Allianz, 1100 New York Avenue in Washington, DC and 191 North Wacker Drive in Chicago. Manulife will maintain a 20 percent interest in the properties and continue to manage them.

Going forward, Manulife and Allianz together plan to invest in additional office properties in US gateway markets.

“This partnership reflects how our experienced teams work with investors to provide unique opportunities to meet their investment goals,” said Kevin Adolphe, President and chief executive officer of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets, in a statement. “We look forward to growing our relationship with Allianz in the years to come.” 

“Allianz has ambitious goals to continue to expand its real estate presence in the U.S., and we are pleased to do so with 1100 New York Avenue and 191 North Wacker Drive, two buildings that represent the type of high quality assets in which we seek to invest,” added Christoph Donner, CEO of Allianz Real Estate of America.

Manulife recently expanded its third-party private asset management business to external institutional investors via its Private Markets group. The group focuses on a range of private asset classes, including commercial real estate, timberland and farmland, renewable energy, oil and gas, private equity and mezzanine debt. Additionally, the group also invests in private placement debt and commercial mortgages.

As of June 30, Manulife held $5.8 billion, more than half of its total $10.2 billion portfolio, in the US. Meanwhile, Allianz Real Estate has invested approximately €8.2 billion of its approximately €33 billion of assets under management in the US, with €7 billion in debt and €1.2 billion in equity. Allianz Real Estate of America’s equity capital typically is deployed in a co-investment structure to operating partners in core/core plus office, retail, residential and industrial projects and portfolios in the largest US markets.