Prudential Hires Deutsche Bank’s Garcia for Real Estate

Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer, hired Frank Garcia as a managing director to invest in commercial properties as the firm expands its main U.S. real estate fund.

Garcia will be the fourth portfolio manager at Prudential Real Estate Investors’ core open-ended equity real estate strategy, the Newark, New Jersey-based insurer said today in a statement. He previously managed property investments at Deutsche Bank AG.

Prudential is expanding in core real estate as the insurer uses the strategy to diversify retirement plans and draw in investors beyond the U.S. The company invests in real estate to generate fee income and back insurance policies. The real estate unit, with $53 billion in assets, has hired dealmakers to expand in Latin America and Asia, and this month promoted Eric Adler to chief executive officer.

Garcia’s “background will be particularly helpful as we seek opportunities to invest on behalf of a growing client base,” Cathy Marcus, senior portfolio manager for the real estate fund, said in the statement.

Garcia, who started yesterday, is based in San Francisco and reports to Marcus. He’s also worked at Spieker Properties and CB Commercial, Prudential said. Garcia has a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific, where he studied business administration.

Core funds typically invest in established properties in major cities. The strategy uses a low level of financial leverage, according to Prudential’s website.

Deutsche Bank

Jay Miller assumed Frank Garcia’s responsibilities at Deutsche Bank as lead portfolio manager of the U.S. value-added real estate fund, and clients were informed of the change in May, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because there was no public announcement.

MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, is seeking to add fee income by overseeing more funds for outside investors after starting an asset-management unit last year. The New York-based insurer this month won a commitment of as much as $5 billion from SunTrust Banks Inc. for commercial mortgage loans.

Prudential climbed 0.2 percent to $78.09 at 4:15 p.m. in New York. The stock has climbed 46 percent this year, while MetLife has gained 45 percent.