Real estate investment firms to merge, Sun Life to take major stake

by Steve Randall19 Dec 2018

GreenOak Real Estate is to merge with international real estate investment firm Bentall Kennedy to form a global platform.

The combined business, Bentall GreenOak, will be majority-owned by Sun Life Financial which has committed to significant financial investment to enhance the business.

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"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.”

The combination will have investment professionals in 14 offices in North America, and 7 offices internationally, with specific experience and success in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Leadership team
The combined business’ management team 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.

GreenOak co-founders Carrafiell and Kalsi will continue to hold significant ownership stakes in Bentall GreenOak along with GreenOak's strategic partner Tetragon Financial Group Limited while Bentall Kennedy's senior management team will acquire a meaningful ownership position in the combined firm.

"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."

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