Aberdeen Standard Investments has won a $1bn (€844m) global multi-manager real estate mandate.
At a media event in London, Pertti Vanhanen, global co-head of real estate, at the recently merged business, said it been awarded the mandate last week but would not disclose the identity or geographical location of the investor.
Vanhanen was asked if the size of the mandate indicated that it is one of the large Japanese government pension schemes, but declined to comment.
Sources in Japan have suggested that the mandate has not been awarded by the ¥157trn (€1.18trn) Government Pension Investment Fund, which issued a call to real estate and infrastructure fund-of-funds managers to apply for investment mandates.
Prior to its merger with Standard Life, Aberdeen Asset Management had been building up a global multi-manager real estate business.
The $1bn mandate will be seen as a vote of confidence in the recently consolidated investment manager. The merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management has indirectly created a £44.8bn (€49.8bn) real estate business.
Vanhanen said it was now the second largest manager of European real estate. AXA Investment Managers–Real Assets is the largest.
But the increased scale of the business is expected to increase the impetus on management to make it more global.
Vanhanen said real estate was the only asset class in which Aberdeen Standard Investments was not “truly global”. Its indirect multi-manager arm already has an international scope, but Aberdeen Standard Investments has yet to build up a direct real estate investment capability in the US or Asia-Pacific.
Vanhanen said there was an expectation at Aberdeen Standard Investments that real estate would also be globalised.
The company would consider corporate acquisitions, Vanhanen said, but it is not actively engaged in any takeover activity at the moment.