AFIAA, the Swiss Foundation for International Real Estate Investments, has moved into indirect real estate.

The international investment platform set up in 2004 exclusively for Swiss pension funds had previously only invested directly in property.

The CHF1.7bn foundation, which has 45 pension fund members, has begun to offer investments in real estate funds to help investors diversify their international real estate exposure.

Last year, investment group Avadis, which AFIAA has been part of since 2014, hired CBRE Global Investment Partners for the mandate.

The mandate, which has already raised around CHF200m in capital, is now being transferred to AFIAA and is open to existing and prospective AFIAA members.

Ingo Bofinger, chief executive of AFIAA Real Estate Investment, told IPE Real Estate that the choice between indirect and direct investments for many Swiss pension funds comes down to preference.

“Some prefer to go global via direct investments, because they can see exactly where they are investing,” he said. “Others like the idea of being highly diversified.”

Bofinger, who joined AFIAA from Gothaer Asset Management in January, said that, in the interests of diversification, the fund “will include almost no offices” and will instead focus mainly on logistics and other commercial property assets.

“We want to turn AFIAA into the centre of competence for global real estate investments by Swiss institutions,” Bofinger said.

CBRE Global Investment Partners said it was “transferring the mandate to AFIAA Real Estate Investment to benefit from the AFIAA team’s real estate operational knowledge and platform”.

The company said: “We are looking forward to growing this mandate with Ingo and his team delivering outperforming risk adjusted returns from indirect real estate.”

Read more on the real estate portfolios of Swiss institutional investors in the upcoming edition of IPE Real Estate.