December 19, 2018
Bentall Kennedy and GreenOak Real Estate (“GreenOak”) announced the signing of an agreement to merge the two firms into a leading global real estate investment platform. The combined entity will be named Bentall GreenOak.
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GreenOak Co-Founders, John Carrafiell and Sonny Kalsi, existing GreenOak senior management and GreenOak’s strategic partner Tetragon Financial Group Limited will all continue to hold significant ownership stakes in Bentall GreenOak. Bentall Kennedy’s senior management team will also acquire a meaningful ownership position in the combined firm.
Bentall GreenOak will be majority-owned by Sun Life Financial (“Sun Life”) and will operate under Sun Life Investment Management, the alternative asset management arm of Sun Life. Sun Life has committed significant co-investment capital to support the growth of Bentall GreenOak and to enhance the firm’s alignment with its clients.
Senior management of the combined firm will include leaders from both Bentall Kennedy and GreenOak, and will be led globally by Gary Whitelaw, as CEO, and Sonny Kalsi, as President. John Carrafiell will be Senior Managing Partner of the Bentall GreenOak UK/European business.
Bentall GreenOak will provide its clients with a broad range of complementary real estate investment strategies that include Core, Core Plus and Value Add/Opportunistic equity, as well as senior and tactical real estate debt strategies. With investment professionals in 14 offices in North America, and 7 offices internationally, Bentall GreenOak will have deep local knowledge and strong, long-standing investment track records across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
“This combination brings together two successful real estate platforms to create a world class investment manager, supported by the significant resources and long-term stability of Sun Life Investment Management. GreenOak and Bentall Kennedy are two highly complementary firms with virtually no overlap in investment strategies or offices,” said Gary Whitelaw, CEO, Bentall Kennedy. “As members of the combined leadership team have worked together before, and given our extensive discussions over many months, we believe we share very similar investment practices, underwriting discipline, and client-centric cultures,” Mr. Whitelaw continued.
“The mission critical element in any combination is ensuring that the leadership team and the teams directly managing the investment programs and assets on the ground are able to remain focused on creating value and managing risk,” added Messrs. Carrafiell and Kalsi, Co-Founders of GreenOak Real Estate. “This combination of like-minded and compatible firms uniquely allows us to do that – with our clients and fund investors working with the same local specialists with whom they have been working for many years.”
“Institutional real estate investment strategies increasingly benefit from a truly global framework. But being successful requires deep local knowledge, a rigorous underwriting culture and strong alignment between investors and the manager,” said Steve Peacher, President, Sun Life Investment Management. “Bentall Kennedy and GreenOak each bring this knowledge, disciplined experience and a fiduciary culture to the new combined firm. Sun Life Investment Management is committed to deepening Bentall GreenOak’s client/manager alignment by making strategic co-investments in future Bentall GreenOak funds and other initiatives in partnership with Bentall GreenOak’s clients and partners,” Mr. Peacher added.
As of September 30, 2018, Bentall Kennedy and GreenOak have, in the aggregate, over 700 institutional clients with approximately $47 billion USD / $62 billion CAD in assets under management. Sun Life will have contractual rights to increase its ownership interest in Bentall GreenOak in 2026, though it is expected that a meaningful interest will continue to be held by the Bentall GreenOak management team on an ongoing basis.
Bentall Kennedy and Sun Life Investment Management received financial advice on the transaction from Berkshire Global Advisors and legal advice from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Evercore provided financial advice to GreenOak and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Covington & Burling LLP provided legal advice to GreenOak and its owners.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including required regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019.
About Bentall Kennedy
Bentall Kennedy, a Sun Life Investment Management company, is a leading real estate investment advisor and one of North America’s foremost providers of real estate services. Bentall Kennedy (which includes Bentall Kennedy (Canada) Limited Partnership, Bentall Kennedy (U.S.) Limited Partnership) serves the interests of more than 545 institutional clients with expertise in office, retail, industrial and multi-residential assets throughout Canada and the U.S. Bentall Kennedy’s Investment Management group has approximately $36 billion USD / $48 billion CAD of assets under management (including approximately $18 billion USD / $24 billion CAD of Sun Life General Account Assets, of which $12.3 billion USD are commercial mortgages managed by certain affiliated Sun Life Investment Management entities outside the Bentall Kennedy group under the oversight of individuals who are officers both of Bentall Kennedy and those other affiliates, all as at September 30, 2018). We are one of the largest Real Estate Services providers in Canada, managing more than 60 million square feet on behalf of third-party and investment management clients (as of September 30, 2018).
For more information, please visit www.bentallkennedy.com
GreenOak Real Estate is a leading global real estate investment management firm with approximately US$11 billion of AUM, across discretionary closed-end funds for both equity and debt strategies in the US, Europe and Asia. Founded in 2010, GreenOak has acquired approximately 203 assets representing 40 million square feet and US$14.3 billion of real estate value within its target markets. GreenOak has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Milan, Luxembourg, Tokyo, Seoul and Mumbai, with over 100 professionals in dedicated regional teams having deep, local knowledge, experience and extensive networks in each market.
For more information, please visit www.greenoakrealestate.com
About Sun Life Investment Management
Sun Life Investment Management comprises Sun Life Institutional Investments (Canada) Inc. and Bentall Kennedy (Canada) Limited Partnership in Canada, and Prime Advisors Inc., Ryan Labs Asset Management and Bentall Kennedy (U.S.) Limited Partnership in the United States.
These operations have combined third-party assets under management of $46 billion USD / $61 billion CAD (at $1.33 CAD/USD) as of September 30, 2018. Sun Life Investment Management is supported by the investment division of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada that manages $109 billion USD / $146 billion CAD (at $1.33 CAD/USD) in assets under management for the Sun Life Financial group of companies as of September 30, 2018.
For more information, please visit our website – www.sunlifeinvestmentmanagement.com
Tetragon is a closed-ended investment company that invests in a broad range of assets, including bank loans, real estate, equities, credit, convertible bonds, private equity, infrastructure and TFG Asset Management, a diversified asset management business. Tetragon is traded on Euronext in Amsterdam N.V. and on the Specialist Fund Segment of the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Tetragon partnered with the GreenOak Co-Founders on the launch of GreenOak, providing working capital, co-investment capital and operating infrastructure to the joint venture. TFG Asset Management will continue to hold its key investment in Bentall GreenOak, will serve on its Board of Directors, will participate in investment committees for funds in which TFG Asset Management will hold carried interest and expects to invest in new Bentall GreenOak funds.
For more information please visit the company’s website at www.tetragoninv.com
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of certain securities laws, including the “safe harbour” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Information about risk factors relating to Sun Life (and Sun Life Investment Management) can be found in the annual information form of Sun Life Financial Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2017 under the heading “Risk Factors” and other regulatory filings filed with or furnished to Canadian and U.S. securities regulators available at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov.