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May 06, 2016  

Coppola Exiting a Top TIAA Real Estate Post

Rick Coppola is leaving TIAA-CREF, where he is head of real estate transactions.

Coppola, a managing director, oversees investments in both commercial mortgages and commercial properties. He will exit in the next several weeks, ending a three-decade-plus run at the company. People familiar with the matter said his departure is voluntary and not directly related to a restructuring that TIAA announced a couple of months ago. The buzz is he intends to pursue other opportunities.

The industry veteran is well known in lending and property circles. He is a member of the board of governors of the CRE Finance Council and co-founded the trade group’s portfolio lenders forum, which represents the interests of balance-sheet lenders. He is also on the board of trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

At the beginning of February, TIAA announced it was combining several investment divisions — including agriculture, real estate and infrastructure — into a stand-alone “real assets” group. It named Jose Minaya, previously head of its private markets asset management business, as president of the group.

At the time, TIAA said Tom Garbutt, senior managing director and head of global real estate, would retire. Philip McAndrews, chief investment officer of its real estate business, was also to depart after a transition period. Neither will be replaced. The top remaining real estate executive is Chris McGibbon, managing director and head of global real estate for the Americas.

TIAA is one of the top originators of commercial mortgages among insurers. In 2015, it wrote $5.2 billion of loans, ranking sixth in the sector. That was up 39% from $3.7 billion in 2014.