Toronto skyline from center island

Toronto-based RBC Global Asset Management (RBCGAM) has appointed Michael Kitt as head, real estate equity investments, the company announced Monday.

Based in Toronto and reporting to Dan Chornous, chief investment officer of RBCGAM, Kitt will be responsible for leading the firm’s efforts to develop Canadian real estate pooled solutions, which will initially be offered to the domestic institutional market, with the aim of expanding both vehicle type and targeted client groups over time.

Kitt’s appointment marks RBCGAM’s entry into direct real estate equity investing and demonstrates the firm’s continued focus on private and illiquid markets, the company says in a news release.

RBCGAM currently has more than $7 billion in assets under management in private markets through its mortgage portfolios.

“As a full spectrum asset manager, we continually broaden the range of investment solutions available to our clients,” says. Chornous in a statement. “Commercial real estate is an ideal next step for us, extending out from our mortgage business and offering our clients exposure to an asset class in which RBC GAM’s sophisticated knowledge, scale and access to deal flow will enhance investment prospects.”

Kitt has extensive experience in the North American and European real estate business. Most recently, he was chief financial officer & executive vice president, finance and strategy for Oxford Properties, OMERS’ wholly owned real estate investment unit. Prior to that he held positions at Cadillac Fairview Corporation and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, all related to commercial real estate investing in Canada and the United States.

Kitt holds a B. Comm. (honours with distinction) with a major in finance from the University of Manitoba and was awarded the CFA designation in 1995.