Towers Watson cranks up US presence

The consultancy firm has hired Peter Lewis to lead its US real estate research team. He formerly headed up the $2.5 billion portfolio of insurer Liberty Mutual Group.

Towers Watson, one of the most powerful consultancy firms, has beefed up its US real estate research capability with the hire of Peter Lewis. The New York-listed company said the addition takes its global real estate headcount to 21 in nine counties, with Lewis leading a team of five as a senior investment consultant and working from the company’s headquarters.

Lewis joins from insurance company Liberty Mutual Group, where he was a senior investment officer directing its $2.5 billion real estate portfolio. Previous roles include director of real estate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investment Management and former board member of the Pension Real Estate Association.

Craig Baker, global head of research at Towers Watson Investment, called Lewis a “very experienced real estate investor”, adding the firm’s real estate team already was one of the largest and most globally diversified.

Towers Watson's real estate team, which is represented in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, researches all real estate strategies from core funds and separate account mandates to opportunistic strategies.  Some of the real estate ideas that the consultancy has taken to its clients recently include the recapitalisation of a real estate fund on beneficial terms, investments in Asian real estate and investment in secure income real estate strategies with inflation-linked protection.

Towers Watson was formed in 2009 from the merger between Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin.