JP Morgan Asset Management has created a new team to serve investors’ growing appetite for direct investments in real assets.

Led by executive director Avik Mukhopadhyay, the Tactical Direct Investments group will advise on direct deals and co-investments in real estate, infrastructure and maritime assets.

It will span the wider global real assets group, led by Joe Azelby, and is the latest example of JP Morgan’s anticipation of the growth in real assets investing.

A 2012 white paper written by Azelby predicted that institutional investors would increase their allocations to real assets to 25%, and possibly even higher.

Doug Doughty, who was appointed last year as business development manager for the global real assets group, told IP Real Estate that this notion still underpinned JP Morgan’s strategic direction.

But, he said, what had been a “belief” in 2012 was now becoming reality. “We are now seeing it in practice,” Doughty said. “Investors that used to just invest in real estate are now investing in infrastructure and building up those allocations, and are now building up their maritime and agricultural land [holdings].”

JP Morgan’s global real assets division manages $82bn of investments, of which $17bn are direct investments and co-investments.