Prudential Hires McLaughlin to Run Asia Real Estate Unit

Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer, hired Morgan Laughlin to run its real-estate investment business in Asia as the company builds operations outside the U.S.

Laughlin joins from Grosvenor Fund Management, according to a statement today from Prudential Real Estate Investors, which had about $8 billion in gross assets under management in Asia as of Dec. 31. He’ll be based in Tokyo.

Morgan brings “deep experience in building businesses in emerging and developed markets in Asia and a track record that includes managing real estate debt, direct real estate investing, client engagement and regional management,” Allen Smith, chief executive officer of PREI, said in the statement.

Prudential has been bolstering real estate operations in Asia, Europe and Latin America after last year naming Eric Adler to oversee global investment and risk-management processes. The Newark, New Jersey-based insurer’s real estate business in January hired Adriana Drulla Rossi from Morgan Stanley to work in Brazil and promoted Raimondo Amabile and Andrew Radkiewicz to co-heads of the European unit.

PREI managed $51.2 billion in gross real estate assets on behalf of about 500 clients worldwide as of Sept. 30, up from $48.6 billion a year earlier. The business has been investing in the commercial real estate markets of nations including Japan, China, India and Australvictoria since 1994.

Laughlin was most recently a regional director for the Asia-Pacific area at Grosvenor. He previously worked at Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and Deutsche Bank AG. He received a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from Columbia College. He has lived and worked in the U.S., Japan, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

He replaces Victoria Shigehira Sharpe who has taken a new role with the global institutional relationship group and will be based in Singapore where she’ll focus on expanding client relationships.

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