UNITED STATES - JP Morgan Asset Management has established a separate opportunistic real estate investment business in the US and hired John Fraser to head the enterprise.

Junius Real Estate Partners will manage assets separately from JP Morgan's existing real estate asset management business, and Fraser, based in New York, will report to Joe Azelby, head of JP Morgan Asset Management - Global Real Assets.

Fraser joins from Investcorp, where he was co-head of real estate, responsible for all the company's real estate investment activities, including investment strategy and execution for its $5bn (€3.6bn) investment portfolio.

Azelby said: "We are very excited to have John on board to lead this new opportunistic real estate investment platform. The timing is right for this segment of the market, as owners, operators, banks and special servicers look to restructure or sell over-leveraged real estate assets.

"Institutional investors who have been focused on adding core real estate exposure will be increasingly interested in taking advantage of the investment opportunities currently unfolding."

Junius Real Estate Partners will follow an opportunistic strategy, singling out "new investment opportunities with compelling risk-return profiles", said Fraser, who has been given the position of managing director at Junius.

He added: "I'm confident the combination of a nimble, focused and hand-selected real estate investment team backed by the powerful infrastructure of JP Morgan Asset Management can deliver attractive returns."