Life insurance firm MetLife, Inc. said it lent a record $15 billion to global commercial real estate concerns in 2016, a five percent increase over the approximately $14.3 billion it originated in the previous year.
“MetLife continued to be a major investor in real estate in 2016, focusing on a number of key sectors, including commercial mortgages, real estate equity, and investments on behalf of our institutional clients,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of real estate investments for MetLife.
“Following our strategy of investing in major markets with strong fundamentals, MetLife strengthened its position as the leader in commercial mortgage lending, based on annual production volume, both domestically and internationally. We also continued to create attractive opportunities for institutional investors through MetLife Investment Management (MIM) and we believe that 2017 will bring even greater expansion and growth for our asset management platform.”
MIM, which just celebrated its fourth year in business, also had a strong year, originating $940 million in commercial real estate equity and mortgage loan investments for institutional clients.
MetLife’s real estate platform includes origination and asset management offices across seven regional offices in the United States, as well as in London, Mexico City, Tokyo and Santiago.
MetLife originated a number of commercial real estate loan transactions of $150 million and above in 2016, including the following:
$563 million first mortgage on a portfolio of Class A industrial properties in CA
$415 million first loan collateralized by a portfolio of 12 commercial mortgages across the United States
Lead lender with a $275 million co-lender position in a $550 million leasehold mortgage loan on Cherry Creek Shopping Center, a super-regional mall in Denver, CO
$245 million first mortgage on 321 North Clark, a Class A office tower in Chicago, IL
$199 million first mortgage on Chase Tower Dallas, a Class A office tower in Dallas, TX
$185 million first mortgage on a super-regional shopping center in Temecula, CA
$165 million first mortgage on 1180 Peachtree, a Class A office building in Atlanta, GA
$157 million first mortgage participation in a $361 million senior loan secured by 21 hotels in the United Kingdom
$150 million first mortgage on The Modern, a Class A high-rise apartment community located in Fort Lee, NJ
Within its international portfolio, MetLife expanded its lending activities in 2016, originating commercial real estate loans in Australia of approximately 725 million Australian dollars, in Japan of approximately 33 billion yen, and in additional investments in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Chile.
The firm also made several equity investments in 2016. MetLife’s equity real estate portfolio includes investments in office, apartment, retail, industrial and hotel properties. “MetLife and its partners had a strong year adding high-quality assets to our real estate portfolio in a variety of markets,” Merck added. “We think the market in 2017 will offer ample opportunities for equity deals for institutional investors.”
MetLife continued to provide attractive opportunities to its equity real estate clients and execute its long-term strategy of developing core assets in markets with strong fundamentals.
MetLife and its partners committed to invest $1.4 billion, including development and real estate joint ventures, among others, during the year ended December 31, 2016. Of particular note internationally, is the acquisition of Value Plaza Ageo, a shopping center located in Ageo, Japan.
Of particular note domestically, is the development of Constitution Square, an 842,000 square foot office property in Washington D.C., and Wilshire Crescent Heights, a 150 unit apartment property in Los Angeles, CA.
MetLife also closed on $1.5 billion in commercial real estate sales in 2016.
MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries.