REAL ESTATE - SPF Beheer, manager of the Dutch rail and public transport pension funds, has changed its investment strategy seriously.

After the rather cautious investment approach towards real estate until 2005, the last year a more aggressive approach has been taken.

Acquisitions head Tom Jongerius said the €13bn SPF Beheer has again become very active in the real estate sector in 2005.

It bought around €194m of assets while divesting for €90m. In the coming year it plans to invest from around €150m – totally in the Dutch market.

At present, its real estate investments are 15% of its total portfolio, of which 10% in Dutch real estate and 5% internationally, largely in listed and non-listed real estate funds.

Its direct holdings in the Netherlands are equally split between residential, retail and office/industrial.

SPF Beheer’s real estate investment policy is active, as it is part of the total investment portfolio of the two pension funds.

“As a pension fund manager, we are accountable for the overall performance, so also the real estate investments,” Jongerius stated.

He characterised the market as very competitive at the moment, with investors reaping the rewards of low interest rates.

For the coming years, main change in the real estate investment policy of SPF Beheer is the change to more retail, industrial and residential.

The group has become interested in other alternatives, such as schools, based on a growing need for diversification.