Bill Hughes will head up a new real assets division at Legal & General’s asset management arm as the insurer looks to integrate its real estate and infrastructure activities.

Legal & General Investment Management will bring its direct property business, which had £15bn (€19.6bn) in assets under management at the end of 2014, together with its infrastructure team, which has built up a £800m loan book over the past two years.

Hughes’ new position as head of real assets at LGIM reflects a growing trend among investors and fund managers to apply a more joined up approach to investing in real assets.

Announcing the move, the company cited “the growing connection between the property and infrastructure divisions, with the former rapidly widening its investment universe to include alternative asset classes, such as student accommodation and healthcare”.

LGIM said it was looking to position itself to capitalise on “a logical handover of infrastructure investments from banks to insurance companies and pension funds”.

Legal & General has already invested £4.6bn of an additional £15bn commitment to UK property and infrastructure on behalf of its savings and pension schemes, it said.

“This change allows us to further capitalise on the synergies that exist across our infrastructure and property businesses,” said Hughes.

“Like real estate, we recognise that infrastructure offers attractive inflation protection and stable yields against which we can match our long-term pension liabilities.”