Public Investors Sell Bentall Kennedy to Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is buying real estate investment manager Bentall Kennedy Group for C$ 560 million. U.K.-based Sun Life, owned by AXA Group, is looking to grow its exposure to property investments and investors in real estate. Increasingly, institutional investors such as pensions and wealth funds are allocating higher percentages of capital toward real estate. The reason is pensions are trying to invest in higher-yielding assets. In addition, Sun Life was one of Bentall Kennedy’s largest clients.

The sellers are British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and Bentall management. Each party owns a one-third stake in the real estate manager. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015. The timeline for the whole deal was 2 to 3 months.

Hodes Weill & Associates was the financial advisor for Bentall Kennedy.

The deal will have Bentall Kennedy become a unit of Sun Life Investment Management, the investment management arm of Sun Life Financial. bcIMC and CalPERS will remain clients of Bentall Kennedy under the deal. Combined, the mortgage and property teams of Bentall Kennedy and Sun Life Investment Management will have C$ 47 billion in assets under management in Canada and the United States – serving more than 550 institutional investors and clients.

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