AMERICAS NEWS: Man of the moment: Peter Ballon

Peter Ballon is taking a broader view on real estate these days.

The executive, who previously was managing director and head of real estate investments in the Americas at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, will now be managing director and head of investments, real estate, for the pension plan. In his new role, he also will chair CPPIB's real estate investments committee.

Triggering this change was CPPIB’s formation of a new real assets group, announced last month which would combine the institution’s real estate investments department with its infrastructure and agriculture groups. The new group will be led by Graeme Eadie, who was formerly senior managing director and global head of real estate. Eadie has been with CPPIB since 2005.
Ballon has been at the pension plan almost as long as Eadie, joining in 2007.

Before becoming head of Americas real estate, he lead the investment teams for the US and Brazil. Ballon, however, will not be joining CPPIB’s senior management team. Eadie will remain the senior management team member responsible for real estate. However, Ballon also continues to act as head of real estate investments in the Americas. Andrea Orlandi, head of real estate investments in Europe, and Jimmy Phua, head of real estate
investments in Asia, remain in their respective roles.

An industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Ballon worked with several Canadian real estate companies including Canderel, Brookfield Asset Management and TrizecHahn Corporation before joining CPPIB.

Property investments overseen by Ballon this year include the acquisition of a 50 percent interest in an office portfolio in downtown Toronto and Calgary from Oxford Properties Group for C$1.175 billion ($900 million; €800 million); and the formation of a joint venture with real estate investment trust Welltower to purchase a 97.5 percent interest in a senior housing portfolio in Florida for an aggregate purchase price of $555 million.

CPPIB managed C$287.1 billion in assets as of June 30. Of that amount, $37.1 billion, or 12.9 percent, was in real estate.