MetLife forms JV with NY Common

The JV will be seeded with a seven-property portfolio, which the insurance giant has sold a 49.9 percent stake in to NY Common.

MetLife Investment Management (MIM), the real estate investment arm of New York-based insurer MetLife, has formed a joint venture with New York State Common Retirement Fund, the groups said Wednesday.

To kick start the JV, the pension plan – the third largest public fund in the US – bought a 49.9 percent stake in a seven property office portfolio, with a total value of more than $1.4 billion, from the MIM. The insurance giant will manage the venture's initial investment portfolio.

“We are very pleased to partner with the New York State Common Retirement Fund on investing in this portfolio of high quality real estate properties,” said Robert Merck, MetLife’s global head of real estate, in a statement Wednesday. “We share a strategy of investing for the long term, and we look forward to growing this equity real estate portfolio with them for many years to come.”

MetLife and the pension fund have partnered on previous deals. In 2011, for example, MetLife sold a 50 percent stake in the Wells Fargo Plaza, a 71-story skyscraper in downtown Houston, Texas, to the fund.

MIM, MetLife’s institutional client investment business, was started in 2012. The platform now has about $20 billion in commitments from third-party investors.