EUROPE - A core fund dedicated to Italian solar panels is among the vehicles BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) will launch to meet its annual €1bn target growth in assets under management to €14bn.

In addition to the Italian solar panel vehicle announced by the firm this week, new funds include a European hotel fund and a fund structured around development and renovation of office property in major cities.

The firm also announced a new €60m closing of a pan-European office fund focused on high-quality environmental assets.

Managing director David Aubin told IP Real Estate the new funds were "driven by what we think are attractive themes and where there is a strong rationale in terms of the quality of assets available, with a sustainable yield and potential capital appreciation".

The solar fund is predicated on a single opportunity the fund manager has chosen to use as seed investment rather than building a small niche fund around a single portfolio.

Aubin acknowledged that the development fund would "look less compelling" to investors looking to make an immediate return.

He said he would instead target sophisticated investors - sovereign wealth funds and large pension schemes.

"The main difference now is between investors who want annual stable returns and those focused on capital-value appreciation in the long term," he said.

"Insurers might not be attracted to the fund because there will be no rent coming in and no dividends for the first few years."

The ambitious growth target for this year comes after three years of relatively strong growth as its parent bank offloads property loan portfolios in a bid to reduced risk-weighted assets by €79bn.

Earlier this month, France's largest bank sold a 28.7% stake in shopping centre REIT Klépierre for more than €1.5bn.

In the meantime, the property investment management subsidiary plans to expand its third-party management services aimed at separate accounts and club deals following what Aubin described as "a strong audience" looking to outsource the management of large assets.

"Proximity is a must," he said. "To extract value from an investment, you need to know not just property but finance, to have access to financing and, if necessary, to be able to renegotiate with tenants and local authorities. That's difficult to do remotely."

BNP Paribas last year extended its third-party management contract with the Scoaittolo fund acting on behalf of an Italian pension scheme.