Internos Global Investors and Somerston Group have entered Germany’s student housing sector, taking a stake in a specialist manager.

The institutional fund manager and family office have taken a 27.5% stake in Deutsche Real Estate Funds Advisor (DREF).

Internos and Somerston’s joint stake puts the companies in partnership with DREF’s majority shareholder, the Bauer Group.

Andrew Thornton, chief executive of Internos, said the joint venture will aim to develop the German student housing market into a valuable asset class for German investors.

“This investment is in line with our strategy of investing in buildings where populations rest their heads, as this strategy should provide institutions with maximum comfort about future economic volatility,” Thornton said.

“There is still a significant opportunity to increase institutional investment into student housing in Germany and we very much see this as a long-term strategic shift that we would like to exploit.”

Thornton will join DREF’s advisory board, along with Shaun Robinson, chief executive of Somerston Capital, asset manager to the Somerston Group.

Felix Bauer, DREF chief executive, said the firm is looking to build a “considerable portfolio of German student residences, which will give the German student housing market a much needed lift”.

DREF, he said, is currently working towards the issue of a bond to finance student housing.