Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC has completed its acquisition of London-based Protego Real Estate Investors LLP, Protego Real Estate Investors Finance LLP and their subsidiaries in a move that increases the organization’s depth and breadth in the European market.

Hartford, Conn.-based Cornerstone will expand its platform in Europe through Protego, which provides real estate investment advisory services to a variety of clients through funds and separate accounts.

Protego, which focuses primarily on office, retail and industrial property, will retain its brand name. Cornerstone also is integrating the personnel and assets of Babson Capital Management’s Real Estate Finance Group. That move is due to be completed sometime in the first quarter of 2010. The merged entities will manage or service approximately $30 billion of assets.

“With our acquisition of Protego, Cornerstone is positioned to provide a broad range of real estate debt, equity and securities expertise within Europe, which is a long-established and very promising market,” says Cornerstone President and CEO David Reilly.

“At the same time, we will be expanding our advisory services to clients who increasingly want to diversify their risk by focusing on a global investment strategy,” adds Reilly.

While Cornerstone will enhance its global reach, Protego will have the ability to offer a wider array of investment opportunities to its clients and will benefit from Cornerstone’s financial strength and resources, says Iain Reid, CEO of Protego, which has approximately $2.5 billion of assets under management.

“We will now be able to offer our institutional and wealth management clients access to both public and private debt and equity that will enable us to continue the rapid growth of our business in Europe,” says Reid. “We also will be able to offer our clients access to opportunities in the U.S. through Cornerstone’s presence there.”