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Victor Calanog Leaves Moody’s for Real Estate Role at Manulife

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Victor Calanog, head of commercial real estate economics at Moody’s Analytics since 2018, is departing for a new role at Manulife Investment Management, Commercial Observer has learned.

Calanog will begin his new position as global head of research and strategy for real estate private markets at Toronto-based Manulife starting Thursday. He previously worked as chief economist at Reis for 13 years before Moody’s acquired the CRE analytics platform in October 2018.

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“I am excited to join the Manulife team at this point in the market and economic cycle,” said Calanog, who will be based in New York while also spending time in Manulife’s Boston and Toronto offices. “The need for nuanced analysis of traditional and innovative data sources and approaches has never been greater, and this is a great opportunity to work on meaningful, actionable research that will inform strategic decision-making.”

Moody’s announced Wednesday that Thomas LaSalvia, is assuming the head of CRE economics role. LaSalvia has spent the last seven years at Moody’s as director of economic research.

During his time at Moody’s, Calanog served on the investment committee and affordable housing resource committee for the Mortgage Bankers Association. He also led the introduction of Moody’s custom markets tool in 2020 that tracks CRE performance across property sectors along with two-year rent and vacancy rate projections. Calanog also was an oft-cited source in the media on the commercial real estate market. 

At Reis, Calanog introduced the firm’s coverage of the affordable housing, senior housing and student housing sectors. He also helped Reis expand into self-storage research in a joint arrangement with the Self Storage Association.

“We are excited to bring Victor on board to lead the development of a data engine and analytics room to drive our research and strategy,” said Marc Feliciano, global head of real estate for private markets at Manulife. “We believe this is an important step to better and faster real estate investment decisions on behalf of our clients.”

Calanog earned a doctorate in applied economics and management science from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School. He also holds an MBA in finance and a master’s in business and public policy from the Wharton School. 

Kevin Fagan, head of CRE economic analysis at Moody’s Analytics, said Calanog has “elevated the entire CRE market” through his efforts as a “thought leader” and “mentor.” Fagan will now take on many of Calanog’s responsibilities. 

“Victor is a monumental force in the industry,” Fagan said. “One of his many legacies is a fantastic team and culture that shares his unbridled and infectious enthusiasm, and it is an honor to carry on the mantle of his leadership as he moves on to future endeavors, where he will no doubt continue to be highly successful.”

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com