MetLife Investment Management (MIM), the institutional asset management business of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), today announced that it completed $18.6 billion in new commercial real estate debt and equity transactions in 2021, advancing its leadership position as one of the largest U.S. and global real estate investors. MIM’s gross market value of commercial real estate assets under management (AUM) grew to $109.8 billion1 as of December 31, 2021, a reported record for MIM. As of December 31, 2021, gross market value of total commercial mortgage loan AUM climbed to $73.0 billion2 while gross market value of total real estate equity AUM reached $36.8 billion.
MIM’s commercial real estate platform comprises debt and equity origination and asset management capabilities across 13 offices in the U.S. and international markets, including the U.K., Japan, Korea, Chile and Mexico.
“Our real estate platform achieved record investment activity in 2021, creating value for our clients and partners despite continued challenges associated with the pandemic. This outstanding performance is a testament to the strength of our platform, the experience and agility of our team, and our commitment to performance through cycles,” said Robert Merck, global head of Real Estate for MetLife Investment Management. “We look forward to building on this momentum in 2022 as we continue to seek to deliver strong results for our stakeholders.”
MIM’s commercial mortgage team originated 235 transactions in 2021, a record for MIM, totaling more than $15.3 billion in capital provided in support of institutional real estate investors globally. These transactions involved traditional, as well as alternative property types such as life science, self-storage, student housing, and manufactured housing. Additionally, the team successfully launched a closed-end hotel debt fund, taking advantage of favorable market conditions and capitalizing on sector expertise.
In equity real estate investing, MIM acquired $3.3 billion of properties in 2021, a 50% increase over its investment activity from the prior year. MIM continued to pursue assets to enhance the expanding portfolios of its investment management clients, such as the $825 million acquisition of One Memorial Drive, a LEED Certified office property with proximity to Cambridge Massachusetts’ cluster of technology firms. Over the past year, the equity team also made strategic investments in alternative sectors including workforce housing, manufactured housing, and life science. Our equity team also remained active in traditional sectors, such as office, taking advantage of capital market dislocation stemming from continued uncertainty around the pandemic.
MIM also continued to expand its investments outside of the U.S. in 2021, increasing commercial real estate AUM in several key global markets. In Asia, MIM produced the equivalent of $781 million in new equity acquisitions and mortgage originations MIM also continued to grow its presence in the U.K. and Latin America, with the equivalent of $576 million and $768 million, respectively, of commercial mortgage originations in 2021.
Commercial Mortgage Loan Production
MIM originated a number of significant commercial mortgage loan transactions4 in 2021, including the following:
- 238 Main Street (Cambridge, MA) – $475 million office / life science property first mortgage
- Palisades Village (Pacific Palisades, CA) – $235 million mixed-use retail property first mortgage
- EQT Exeter Core Portfolio (Various, U.S.) – $184 million industrial portfolio first mortgage
- Heitman/Life Storage National Self-Storage Portfolio (Various, U.S.) – $145 million self-storage portfolio first mortgage
- 475 Clermont Ave (Brooklyn, NY) – $143 million apartment property first mortgage
Real Estate Equity Investment Production
Some of the key real estate equity transactions closed during 2021 include:
- One Memorial Drive (Cambridge, MA) – Acquisition of a Class A office property with 409,422 square feet (sf)
- 50&60 Binney Street (Cambridge, MA) – Joint venture recapitalization of a fully leased Class A life science building totaling 532,000 sf
- Cobblestone Manufactured Housing (Various, U.S.) – Joint venture recapitalization of 11 manufactured housing communities with 1,743 sites across Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and California
- Corner63 (Seattle, WA) – Transit-oriented development of a 139-unit Class A apartment building