Aviva appoints real estate CIO

Global asset manager Aviva Investors has appointed Daniel McHugh as chief investment officer of its real assets business, following the appointment of Mark Versey as chief executive who previously held the position.

McHugh would report to Versey and would responsible for the strategy and growth of Aviva Investors’ integrated real assets business, which included real estate, infrastructure and private debt.

He would oversee around 300 professionals working across fund management, asset management, development, transactions, origination, underwriting, research, and business management.

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McHugh joined Aviva Investors in April 2018 as managing director, real estate, and in that role he was responsible for business strategy, product initiatives, and external engagement across real estate, as well as leading the firm’s direct investment activity across the asset management, development and transaction teams.

Before joining Aviva, he was head of continental European real estate investment at Standard Life Investments, which he joined in 2000.

A successor to his former position was expected to be announced soon and James Stevens, head of development – global real estate, would lead the team in the interim.

Versey said McHugh had an exceptional investment pedigree, with a relentless focus on clients and delivering strong performance.

“Since he joined the business, we have significantly built out our development, asset management and transaction capabilities in Real Estate, expanding our investment strategy in exciting new European locations and forging strong partnerships with key international investors,” Versey said.

“Daniel shares my ambition to establish Aviva Investors as a market leader in Real Assets, and I have every confidence the business will flourish under his leadership.”

McHugh said the firm had a fantastic franchise, with highly capable and motivated teams across real estate, infrastructure and private debt, and an integrated environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach that he believed was a differentiator for their parent Aviva and external clients.

“My objective will be to ensure we continue growing the platform by delivering the investment outcomes our clients demand,” McHugh said.

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