General Electric has been called many things during its 130-year history, one of the most telling its comparison to an 800lb gorilla. From light bulbs to television sets and jet engines, GE is undoubtedly one of the world's leading companies and has been at the cutting edge of innovations since Thomas Edison first realized the incandescent electric lamp could revolutionize the world. However GE is more than just a technology behemoth, it is also a giant in the asset management world and ranks itself among the largest managers of institutional assets in the US. And when it comes to real estate it is to Susan Doyle that many turn. As managing director of global real estate funds at GE Asset Management (GEAM), Doyle has responsibility for a $2 billion (€1.3 billion) portfolio of fund manager commitments and oversight of GEAM's sponsored funds. But the GEAM real estate team also exerts influence as the exclusive real estate advisor to the $60 billion GE Pension Trust (GEPT), which represents more than 508,000 people. Since joining GEAM in 1991, Doyle has run a $250 million mezzanine debt fund and is a member of the advisory board of several real estate investment funds. However according to one real estate fund formation lawyer, it is Doyle's ability to shape GPs to clients' needs during negotiations that sets her above the rest. “I've seen Susan move sponsors on issues they never intended to move on,” he says. And in an industry where many LPs are eagerly looking to real estate to balance their portfolios, it's a skill that will undoubtedly reap dividends for GEAM as it manages its $7 billion of real estate assets. Total assets under management at the end of 2007 were $190 billion with GEAM today being a direct investor in real estate, as well as through REITS and via co-mingled private real estate funds. It's certainly a far cry from GE's first investment in private real estate in the 1950s.