REAL ESTATE - Arlington Securities has appointed Gert-Jan Kapiteyn as research director at its Amsterdam office.

Kapiteyn was previously research manager for Altera Vastgoed, one of the Netherlands’ largest real estate funds.

His appointment reflects the firm’s emphasis on local knowledge as the driver of international business growth following its acquisition last year by Macquarie Goodman.

"These are opportunities that come with being part of the larger group," said Andrew Smith, Arlington’s head of investment strategy.

"Real estate investment in general is becoming more international and more cross-border investment is coming from the UK. It’s the result of a combination of more transparency and more investors – which is helping to promote transparency. There’s a feeling among investors that they should be able to research markets equally."

Specifically, Smith forecast substantial growth in continental European markets – the result, he said, of UK pension funds’ lower expectations for high domestic returns.

"UK pension funds have long been thinking about cross-border investment – but they were slow off the mark compared to Dutch pension funds," he said. "Now we’re seeing more of them going into it rather than just thinking about it.

"The problem is that the UK has been one of the most liquid, transparent and top-performing real estate markets – none of which has given any incentive to cross-border investment. Now there’s a change in the balance as the returns we’ve seen in the past couple of years begin to cool off."

Elsewhere, the €120m raised at the first closing last week of Aberdeen’s pan-Nordic fund reflects pension fund appetite for Europe’s fastest-growing economies with a riskier rider, the fund indicated last week.

An Aberdeen spokeswoman said pension funds from the UK, France and the Netherlands – as well as Scandinavian institutions – had invested in the fund, which has a target size of Euro1.5bn over the next three years.

The portfolio currently comprises a Norwegian office building and a Stockholm retail park. Its managers have also earmarked a maximum investment of 15% for the higher-risk Balkan states as "very fast-growing economies [that have] developed as a strong gateway for Russian international business".

"The fund has constraints to single country allocation to diversify risk," said Pepys. "The fund is intended to be a predominantly Nordic fund but with some Baltic allocation."