LGIM to Launch US-Based CRE Equity Platform

Alexia Gottschalch and Tim Watson will spearhead the firm’s expansion into the region.

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Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets (LGIM RA), a subsidiary of UK-based asset management firm Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), has launched a real estate equity management platform within its American division, LGIM America.

The firm has appointed Alexia Gottschalch and Tim Watson to the newly created positions of Head of Real Estate Equity, US and Head of Investment and Portfolio Management, US Real Estate Equity, respectively. The team’s office will be based out of Chicago.

In 2017, LGIM RA had launched a US-centric private credit program, acting on behalf of both the company’s Retirement America (LGRA) arm and its other third-party clients. The new platform, built with the scale of the US equity market in mind, will use LGIM RA’s specializations in urban regeneration, build-to-rent development and long-lease properties to help manage assets and investments on part of both the firm’s clients and LGRA’s Pension Risk Transfer users. Primarily, the services will be centered around the life science and multifamily sectors, in addition to implementing ESG initiatives within the properties themselves.

Profiles of the platform’s leaders

As Head of Real Estate Equity, Gottschalch will oversee the platform’s asset management, product development, acquisitions, operations, marketing, financial planning and strategic initiatives. Watson will lead the development of new investment programs and will actively monitor the performance of the firm’s newly managed assets.

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Previously, Gottschalch had served as managing director at Aegon Asset Management, and had led teams at Invesco, JP Morgan and Prudential Financial.  Watson was also a portfolio manager at Aegon, having worked on investments in affordable housing and value-add projects. Prior to that role, he had also worked at JPMorgan Chase, as well as RBC Capital Markets and National Equity Fund.

Asset management’s moment

LGIM RA’s branching into real estate follows numerous expansions of the asset and investment management divisions of several of the nation’s top commercial real estate services companies, in addition to the recent closing of 10-figure investment funds. In October of 2022, Colliers acquired a controlling interest in Versus Capital, bringing the total value of the firm’s assets under management to $87 billion. That same month, Ares Management Corp. closed on a $1.8 billion value-add fund for the acquisition of new industrial and multifamily assets.

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