GLOBAL - Jeremy Plummer will head up the combined global multi-manager businesses of CBRE Investors and ING Real Estate Investment Management following the merger of the two companies.

Plummer, head of global multi-manager at CBRE Investors, will retain his position, while Jan Meulenbelt, global head of ING Real Estate Select, will have a "leading role" in the integration process.

ING Real Estate Select is the larger of the two multi-manager businesses, with approximately €4.8bn in fund of funds assets, compared with the $4.1bn (€3bn) managed by CBRE Investors.

Multi-manager is the area that has the most potential for overlap in the merger between CBRE Investors and ING REIM. In the main, the former's focus on US separate accounts and the latter's concentration in core European funds sector have made for complementary fit.

Pieter Hendrikse, chief executive for Europe at ING REIM, said the two businesses were "very comparable", but added that any overlap would be minimal due to the two companies' differences in investor bases.

The majority of CBRE Investors' clients are based in North America, while most of ING REIM's investors are European.

That said, CBRE Investors' global multi-manager business has a strong presence among European investors. For example, last year it raised capital to invest in Asia Pacific from a number of European institutional investors.

Matthew Khourie, chief executive at CBRE Investors, said the objective of the merger as a whole was to "take the best talent and best practices" from the existing businesses of both CBRE Investors and ING REIM, and that the two multi-managers operations were no exception.

Khourie said he saw the global multi-manager business as being a significant growth area in the wider business, particularly for smaller investors seeking to gain access to global real estate markets.

He added that multi-managers had historically been regional businesses, but that the trend was definitely moving toward a global approach.

Khourie said a dedicated integration team had been set up to deal with the merger, allowing asset management and investor relations teams to continue to serve their clients without disruption.

He said the integration process was expected to take six to eight months, but in the meantime it was "very much business as usual" for investors.