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DALLAS-L&B Realty Advisors’ top two executives have purchased the operation from Old Mutual plc, its London-based owner for the past five years.

G. Andrews Smith, L&B chairman and CEO, and Daniel L. Plumlee, president and chief investment officer, started working the plan a year before Old Mutual bought the Dallas-based investment group in a multi-firm takeover from United Asset Management Corp. of Boston. “It takes a large organization a long time to sort out what’s core to them and what isn’t,” Smith tells GlobeSt.com. “We’ve been working on it philosophically for a long time.”

Smith says the value of the 125-employee, six-city investment, management and advisory group isn’t an easy calculation, particularly since the team is on track to do $500 million in transactions by the end of the third quarter. “In our instance, our value is that we believe in long-term viability of real estate investment. We wanted to own the business,” he explains. “Real estate is a very attractive business right now and everyone wants to be in it. Nothing’s cheap.”

In fact, Smith says Old Mutual “really didn’t want to sell. They were pleased with us. That’s why it took so long for us to get it.”

Smith and Plumlee plan to expand investment strategies on the immediate front and down the road for the 25-year-old firm so it can be “bigger and better by 2010.” But, there is no plan to reach outside the US, Smith says. The plan, though, will bring investment in healthcare alternative properties, including ambulatory surgery centers, and resort-area lifestyle properties as well as its traditional mix in the portfolio. L&B now manages a portfolio valued at $2.4 billion, representing more than 18 million sf of office, retail, industrial and multifamily properties.

Smith, who joined L&B two years after it was formed, has been chairman and CEO since 1998. Plumlee, a 21-year exec with the firm, also moved into his top slots seven years ago. L&B now manages a portfolio valued at $2.4 billion, representing more than 18 million sf of office, retail, industrial and multifamily properties.

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