GERMANY – German real estate service provider Dr. Lübke has found two partners to boost its business in residential real estate investments for institutions.

Jürgen Kelber, until year-end 2012 with Austria's conwert, has bought into Dr. Lübke, which will now be renamed Dr. Lübke & Kelber.

Ralf Kind joins from Barclays, where he has been responsible for the German real estate investment business for the last 12 years.

Together with Jürgen Kelber and George Salden, formerly with a subsidiary of Dr. Lübke, Kind has created a new company called Arbireo.

The new service provider is to cooperate "very closely" with Dr. Lübke & Kelber, Kind told IP Real Estate.

He said the new company would be used to structure investment and co-investments, but that asset management and transactions would remain with Dr. Lübke & Kelber.

Both companies will focus on residential real estate, as they see increased interest by institutions, including foreign institutions, in the market.

But Kind stressed that investments would have to focus more on development opportunities, and properties outside the main cities.

Over the next 1-2 years, Dr. Lübke & Kelber aims to have €1bn in residential assets under management from institutions with the help of Arbireo, according to chief executive Ulrich Jacke.

Currently, Dr. Lübke & Kelber manages around €200m in this segment, most of it for an unnamed Danish institution.

Jacke stressed that the risk of residential property was often "misinterpreted", as it had a much lower tenant fluctuation than commercial, making it "a good alternative", with a different financing level than for other transactions.

He also said he was convinced residential property portfolios had to be managed actively.

"One part of the portfolio has to be open for trading to generate good returns over the years," he said.

He explained this was the strategy with which to generate returns from an asset class that other real estate investment experts have called "low-yielding".

Kind also said the new Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch (KAGB) – by which Germany implemented the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive – was also a reason why a separate entity for the investment business was formed.

Arbireo will not be set up as a KAG – or a KVG, as they will be known from next year – "to begin with", but Kind is currently "in talks" with several service KAG/KVG providers.