IGIS Asset Management has bought a US$635m (€599m) office building in Seoul for a new real estate fund backed by the National Pension Service (NPS) and the Ministry of Employment and Labor Reserve Fund.

IGIS, which has quickly become South Korea’s largest real estate fund manager, bought the 17-storey Signature Towers from Singapore-based real estate group Ascendas-Singbridge.

The price for the asset, located in the central business district of the city, sets a record this year for the Seoul commercial office market.

It is the first asset for a new discretionary core fund managed by IGIS, which now manages US$13bn in assets in South Korea and overseas.

IGIS is also under contract to acquire a logistics centre in South Korea’s Gyunggi Province for the IGIS discretionary core fund.

IGIS was founded in 2010, and today manages assets on behalf of more than 80 Korean pension funds, insurers and other institutions alongside foreign institutional investors, including Singapore’s GIC, M&G, Alpha Investment Partners, PAG and AEW Capital Management.

It has become the largest asset management company in South Korea in just six years.

So far, it has raised US$7.1bn for investment in a diverse portfolio covering offices, retail, hotels, logistics centres and mixed-use properties.

Its portfolio boasts more than 100 properties, including office buildings in the US and Europe. Most of its assets, however, are located in its home market.

Jonathan Yap, chief investment officer and head of real estate funds at Ascendas-Singbridge, told IPE Real Estate that the asset was sold by The Ascendas Korea Office Fund.

Ascendas-Singbridge, which is the manager and largest investor in the fund, oversaw development, leasing and management of the twin office tower complex, which was completed in 2011.

Signature Towers has almost 100,000sqm of office space and is let to multinational companies that include Amore Pacific Group, Kumho Petrochemical Group, Veolia Water Korea, Leo Burnett and Burson-Marsteller Korea.