Aon Acquires Real Estate Investment Advisor Townsend Group

Insurance brokerage and consultant Aon has completed its acquisition of The Townsend Group, a global investment management and advisory services firm primarily focused on real estate and real assets.

Aon reported in September that it had agreed to acquire Townsend for $475 million from Colony NorthStar. No other financial terms were disclosed by Aon.

Aon said Terry Ahern, Townsend’s chief executive, will continue to lead real estate and real asset investment services.

The deal enhances Aon’s outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services by adding real estate services, which Gary Grace, chief executive officer of Global Retirement & Investment Solutions at Aon, said are of “increasing importance” to its clients. Aon’s Investment organization, including Townsend, now manages more than $130 billion of worldwide assets.

Townsend has offices in Cleveland, San Francisco, London and Hong Kong.

Aon has been reshaping its business. In May of last year, Aon sold its benefits administration and HR outsourcing to private equity firm Blackstone Group for $4.8 billion.

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