AEW and Natixis Asset Management have increased the size of their latest real estate debt fund to €500m and expect to generate “above-target returns”.

The two companies – both affiliates of Natixis Global Asset Management – have reached a third closing for their jointly-managed, pan-European debt fund, SELF II.

To support the growth of the real estate debt platform – which has raised more than €1bn from investors since 2012 – Natixis has hired Chaoki Ben Halima from Generali, while Sylvain Deschamps has moved internally to join the real estate debt team.

Cyril Hoyaux, co-head of the real estate debt platform, said: ”We are continuing to deploy our strategy, with the help of our expanded team, and are confident in delivering above-target returns.”

Over the past three months, SELF II has completed three debt investments in a retail portfolio in France, Germany and Poland, data centres in France and Italy, and the CB16 office tower in Paris La Défense.

To date, around 50% of the fund’s capital has been allocated to France and Germany, and the rest across Italy, the Benelux and Poland, Spain was noted as a potential market for future lending.

The new equity was committed by institutional investors from France, Germany and Italy.

“This new fund raising reflects the strong appetite among French and international investors for our asset class and the opportunity that our SELF platform provides to successfully access real estate debt markets across Europe.”