GLOBAL – TIAA-CREF and Henderson Global Investors have joined forces to launch one of the world's largest real estate investment management firms with $63bn (€48.2bn) in assets under management.

TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate, headquartered in London, will combine both parties' existing European and Asian property businesses and a new global distribution and client service organisation.

The joint venture, owned 60% by TIAA-CREF and 40% by Henderson, will not technically include TIAA-CREF's North American real estate business.

The latter is also acquiring Henderson's existing US real estate business as part of the deal.

But both parties have stressed that the joint venture and the separate North American business, which are both included in the $63bn figure, will operate "seamlessly" as one organisation.

Henderson said: "TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate will also be providing sales and distribution services globally, so while Henderson's North America property business will be 100% owned by TIAA-CREF and not part of the JV structure, the teams will all work together closely, as one seamless global real estate investment management company."

Speaking during a conference call for journalists this morning, James Darkins, managing director at Henderson, who will become chief executive at TIAA Henderson, said: "We'll be running this business in a completely integrated and coordinated way, regardless of the underlying ownerships that sit beneath it."

Tom Garbutt, head of TIAA-CREF global real estate, will become chairman of TIAA Henderson.

He said the joint venture "would drive the growth of our real estate platform globally by expanding our footprint, service capabilities and access to key investment opportunities".

He added: "Together, TIAA-CREF and TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate are one of the leading real estate investment managers in the world."

The estimated $63bn in assets under management is based on a combination of March 2013 figures for both TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate and TIAA-CREF's North American business.

This number would take the venture above Axa Real Estate, which has 45bn in assets under management, but below the world's largest property fund manager CBRE Global Investors, with $90.7bn.