People - MAY 24, 2013

Bentall Kennedy appoints new senior vice president

by Sara Kassabian

Steve Lekki has been appointed senior vice president at real estate manager Bentall Kennedy within the portfolio management group, confirms Jennifer Arnold, director of communications and marketing at the firm.

Lekki will manage a separate account with the $266.7 billion California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), with an investment focus on core industrial properties in the United States. The pension fund approved a proposal to change its current real estate investment strategy by extending the investment period by two years. CalPERS is focusing on core assets to rebalance its real estate portfolio.

A recent core purchase was two adjacent residential towers, The Ashley and The Aldyn, in Manhattan. And in March, CalPERS committed $250 million to the Institutional Logistics Partners partnership, a U.S. industrial core property partnership with Bentall Kennedy.

CalPERS currently has $21.4 billion, or 8 percent of its portfolio, invested in real estate. The pension fund has a target allocation to real estate of 9 percent.

Prior to joining Bentall Kennedy, Lekki was the portfolio manager and director for RREEF, where he managed the strategy and finances of a $500 million portfolio of properties for CalPERS. And prior to joining RREEF, Lekki held a senior position with AMB Property Corp. His responsibilities included establishing and expanding the international transactions group and managing domestic and global separate accounts for GIC, the Government of Singapore Investment Corp.

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