Legal & General Capital (LGC) has made its debut US investment by providing an initial $500m (€466m) of seed capital for a new life-science and technology real estate investment venture with Ancora.

LGC, investing on behalf of insurer Legal & General’s institutional retirement business and third-party clients, has teamed up with US-based real estate developer Ancora to form the Ancora L&G platform to fund assets across multiple regional US markets.

LGC already invests in technology and life science real estate in the UK via its Bruntwood SciTech partnership

Ancora L&G, the newly created 50:50 partnership, will be capitalised by LGC to deliver $4bn of existing pipeline and planned acquisition and development activity over the next five years, LGC said, adding that it is seeking third-party co-investment partners to help grow the portfolio.

The new platform will be led by Josh Parker as CEO, alongside John Philipchuck as CIO, Jeff Kingsbury as chief connectivity officer and Nicole Morrill as chief real estate officer. Legal & General Investment Management America’s (LGIMA) Kristina St Charles will move across from LGIMA as general counsel and Legal & General’s Sujee Rajah will move across to Ancora L&G as its new CFO.

Laura Mason, the CEO of Legal & General Capital, said: “Through our partnership with Ancora, we will be able to leverage Legal & General’s significant experience in the science and technology sector in a new international market with strong growth potential.

”Remaining committed to investing in the real economy to create a better society over the long term, for the first time we take this ethos to an international level beyond the UK’s town and city centres.”

Nigel Wilson, CEO of LGC’s parent Legal & General, said: “While the US is the world’s largest commercial real estate market, the lab real estate market, in particular, is one of the smallest sectors among other commercial US asset classes.

”This lack of scale creates high barriers to entry for investors and has made it particularly challenging for tenants to grow due to scarcity of supply. LGC’s ability to access this opportunity via Ancora will set it apart from other sources of institutional capital seeking to participate in the market.”

“Our team is excited to leverage the deep capital base of Legal & General and third-party clients to offer new investment options for our university partners, and we are eager to deliver activated districts of research and innovation that will enhance local economies across the US,” Parker said.

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