EUROPE - Aviva Investors has taken over the management of BlackRock's European fund of funds vehicles following fund manager John Gellatly's move from the latter to the former in September 2009.

The management of BlackRock European Property Fund of Funds and BlackRock UK Property Fund of Funds, both managed by Gellatly in the past, will be transferred to Aviva Investors.

The names of the Luxembourg and Jersey-domiciled vehicles will change to Aviva Investors European Real Estate Fund of Funds and Aviva Investors UK Real Estate Fund of Funds, upon completion of the transfer tomorrow (24 November).

The move follows Gellatly's decision to leave his post of head of real estate fund of funds at BlackRock to become head of Aviva Investors' real estate multi-manager (REMM) team in Europe. (See earlier IPE Real Estate story: Gellatly leaves BlackRock for new base)

Gellatly, who is now in charge of a 20-strong team managing over £3bn (€3.33bn) in segregated multi-manager mandates, will himself resume management of the two BlackRock vehicles.

Aviva Investors argued the transfer of the funds would help maintain continuity for unit holders.

"These funds are a significant addition to our existing segregated real estate multi-manager business, said Nick Mansley, global head of REMM at Aviva Investors.

"The hiring of John Gellatly, who has extensive experience of the indirect real estate markets and particular knowledge of these funds, prompted the decision to bring them onboard. The addition of the funds is consistent with our overall plans to expand the business to offer clients pooled solutions alongside the existing segregated account service," he added.