MetLife, through MetLife Real Estate Investors, originated approximately $12.1bn globally in commercial real estate loans in 2014, topping 2013’s $11.5bn and setting a company record.
Of the $12.1bn total, $8.6bn were US loans, the firm told Real Estate Capital.
As it expanded its international efforts, MetLife also originated more than $2.1bn in the United Kingdom; $600m in Mexico; 40bn Japanese yen; 16m Australian dollars; and 90bn in South Korean won.
Seven of the lender’s 10 largest loans were on US properties. Those included $500m and $350m direct warehouse revolving lines of credit secured by two separate pools of loans, and a $350m first mortgage on The Shops at La Cantera, a super-regional open-air center in San Antonio, Texas.
The top deal however was a $508m senior loan on the Forest Portfolio, collateralized by three Class A central London office properties. London saw another top deal with a $324m senior loan on another Class A office building at 125 Old Broad Street.
Long-term real estate investments are an important part of MetLife’s asset-liability matching program and a good match for the long-term liabilities the company writes, the firm noted in a statement.
Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of real estate investments for MetLife, said: “MetLife remained a very active real estate investor in 2014 across a number of sectors, including commercial mortgages, real estate equity, and investments on behalf of our institutional clients.
“We strengthened our position as a leader in commercial mortgage lending both domestically and internationally. In addition, we expanded our activity in the asset management space and anticipate continuing to create attractive opportunities for institutional investors in 2015.”
MetLife’s real estate platform includes origination and asset management offices across eleven regional offices in the United States, London, Mexico City, Tokyo and Santiago, Chile.