TH Real Estate, the property division of investment giant TIAA-CREF, announced this week that its CEO James Darkins would retire at the end of this year, and that the company’s managing director for Europe, Mike Sales, would become its new chief executive effective September 1st.
The change in TH Real Estate’s top management comes just a few months after parent firm TIAA-CREF acquired former partner Henderson Global Investors’ 40 percent stake in the London-based investment firm for £80 million ($124.5 million) pounds in April of this year.
TH Real Estate, which was formerly known as TIAA Henderson Real Estate, was formed as a joint venture between TIAA-CREF and Henderson in April 2014. Including TIAA-CREF’s US holdings the company manages $82.4 billion of real estate assets across the US, Asia and Europe, making it the fourth largest property investment manager globally as of the end of March this year.
Henderson Veterans Handover at TIAA-CREF’s New Subsidiary
Although TIAA-CREF has now acquired all of TH Real Estate, it appears to be keeping largely intact a management team dominated by Henderson veterans.
Darkins is retiring after more than 17 years with Henderson and its affiliates, and more than 30 years in the property industry. Before taking the lead at TH Real Estate, Darkins led the expansion of Henderson’s property business throughout Europe & Asia Pacific. The veteran executive will continue his role as CEO until the end of August, and will remain with the business until the end of the year.
“As the business embarks upon its next chapter, it’s a natural point at which to announce my retirement after over 30 years in the industry. Mike and I have worked together since 2001 and his experience and knowledge of our business will ensure a seamless transition into his new role,” Darkins said.
Sales has been with Henderson for 21 years of his 25-year real estate career, and has held a number of senior roles with the company. In his most recent position, the soon-to-be CEO became managing director for Henderson’s European business in 2011.
TIAA-CREF Expanding Globally
TIAA-CREF acquired Henderson’s real estate unit as part of a strategy to expand outside of its base in the US. The firm was originally founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1918 to provide insurance and pensions for teachers and has since grown into one of the country’s biggest asset managers.
In Asia, TH Real Estate appointed Carsten Kebbedies as the company’s Head of Business Development for Asia Pacific in April this year. The Singapore-based role is a new position for the real estate manager as it expands into APAC.
TH Real Estate is seen as a key element in TIAA-CREF’s move into managing funds on behalf of third-party institutions, a new business area which the firm is hoping to expand rapidly.