Robert Merck, Gary Otten, Sara Queen

Robert Merck, Gary Otten, Sara Queen

Head of Real Estate and Agricultural Finance; Head of Real Estate Debt Strategies and Head of Equity Strategies at MetLife

Last year's rank: 24

Robert Merck, Gary Otten, Sara Queen
By and May 3, 2022 1:15 PM

MetLife hit record heights in 2021.

The life insurance giant’s commercial mortgage team originated a company record 235 transactions last year totaling more than $15.3 billion across traditional as well as alternative property types including life sciences, self-storage and student housing. It also launched a closed-end hotel debt fund.

Overall, MetLife recorded $18.6 billion of new commercial real estate debt and equity transactions and achieved a record $109.8 billion in gross commercial real estate assets under management. 

“Our real estate platform achieved record investment activity in 2021, creating value for our clients and partners despite continued challenges associated with the pandemic,” said Robert Merck. “This outstanding performance is a testament to the strength of our platform, the experience and agility of our team and our commitment to performance through cycles. We look forward to building on this momentum in 2022 as we continue to seek to deliver strong results for our stakeholders.”

Notable transactions for MetLife in 2021 included a $184 million first mortgage loan for an EQT Exeter Core industrial portfolio comprising properties around the country. It also executed a $145 million first mortgage deal for joint venture Heitman and Life Storage to acquire a self-storage portfolio.

In equity real estate investing, MetLife Investment Management (MIM) bought $3.3 billion in properties in 2021, 50 percent over 2020 activity. Notable deals included the $825 million acquisition of One Memorial Drive, a LEED-certified office property in Cambridge, Mass. 

MIM was also active around the globe, with $781 million of new equity acquisitions and mortgage originations in Asia, $576 of new mortgage originations in the U.K. and $768 million of the same in Latin America. —L.G. and A.C.