EUROPE - The transferral of BlackRock's European fund of funds expertise to Aviva Investors continued last week as fund manager Catriona Allen is the latest to move to the asset manager.

Aviva Investors has appointed Allen as fund manager for its real estate multi-manager offering, following her departure from BlackRock where she was portfolio manager for the firm's UK Property fund of funds.

The BlackRock UK Fund of Funds and its pan-European counterpart, BlackRock European Property Fund of Funds, have been transferred to Aviva Investors where they will be rebranded as the Aviva Investors UK Real Estate Fund of Funds and Aviva Investors European Real Estate Fund of Funds.

Allen will report to John Gellatly, head of real estate multi-manager in Europe at Aviva Investors, who moved to the investment manager from BlackRock in September, shortly before the fund of funds business was taken over.

More recently, the management of BlackRock European Property Fund of Funds and BlackRock UK Property Fund of Funds, both managed by Gellatly in the past, have been transferred to Aviva Investors. (See earlier IPE Real Estate story: Gellatly's FoFs follow to Aviva)

Allen's responsibilities will include day-to-day management of both Aviva Investors fund of funds vehicles, as well as providing broader UK and European real estate expertise to the multi-manager team.

Allen began her career in 1995 at Investment Property Databank (IPD) and was senior property analyst at Alecta until 2005, working on their European portfolios.

Nick Mansley, global director of multi-manager at Aviva Investors, added: "With the transfer of the real estate fund of funds to Aviva Investors now complete, our focus turns to growing our fund of funds business, as interest in the property sector returns, alongside the broader multi-manager service."

BlackRock is understood to be moving away from the fund of funds sector to concentrate on its direct real estate business.