MetLife, State Street to Launch $2 Billion Mortgage Partnership

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By Jacob Maslow

MetLife Investment Management has entered into a multi-year agreement to originate and service $2 billion in commercial mortgages for State Street Corp.

As part of the agreement, each party’s affiliates will co-lend on each loan.

“This MetLife-State Street partnership offers customers access to two highly respected, leading financial institutions,” said Robert Merck, MetLife’s global head of real estate and agriculture, in a press release. “This is an important step in growing our real estate platform, and we look forward to partnering with State Street to provide a wider range of real estate financing options to our borrowers.”

The partnership, according to MetLife Asset Management, will complement the company’s commitment to growing its business in new markets and through fixed income strategies. MetLife last year acquired Logal Circle Partners, L.P., which specializes in fixed income strategies.

Earlier in the year, the company obtained its asset management license from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.

In 2017, MetLife Investment Management originated a total of $14 billion in commercial mortgages. Loans managed by the company have now reached a record $57 billion.

MetLife has been working on expanding its asset management service since 2012. The unit requires less capital and brings in stable fees, unlike some insurance operations.

“We are pleased to partner with MetLife to source new investment opportunities, as well as add commercial real estate mortgages to our broad suite of lending options, and we plan to lend in concert with our many asset management clients,” stated Paul Selian, head of global credit finance for State Street Global Markets in a statement. “This agreement is a testament to the relationship State Street has with MetLife.”

MetLife Investment Management also recently announced the appointment of Esther Rulli as the company’s International Sales Director for the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Southern Europe. Rulli will be based in London, and will be responsible for expanding third-party asset management in those markets.

Rulli was previously a senior relationship manager at State Street Global Advisors. Her focus was on official institutions and pension funds. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.

MetLife Investment Management’s Chief Operating Officer, Joseph Pollaro, said Rulli’s “deep investment and client relationship experience across several European markets will be instrumental as we continue to grow our asset management business.”

In a statement, Rulli said, “MIM is well-positioned to provide institutional investors in the region with attractive long-term solutions to meet their investments needs.”

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