EUROPE - Internos has taken over as manager of the Invista European Real Estate Trust (IERET) - but market uncertainty is likely to stall the execution of a mandate to dispose of the fund's 41 remaining assets.

Internos co-founder Jos Short told IP Real Estate it was questionable whether the current market was conducive to a disposal strategy.

"It's too early to tell what we'll do strategically," he said "We'll need to do a strategic review and look at the assets identified for disposal."

The Invista trust in September announced a plan for what it described as "a structured realisation" of its assets to pay down €309.8m in debt, with an initial focus on those ready for sale and in markets where it had relatively few assets.

"By the first quarter of next year, the European sovereign debt crisis could be resolved," Short said. "We'll be responsive to market conditions, review with them and see what 2012 brings." 

The decision to hire Internos followed the trust's failure to find a suitable buyer. 
Under the agreement, IERET will pay Internos an annual management fee of 1.25%.

The transition announced this week included Internos taking on the Paris team of previous manager Invista Real Estate Investment Management, which received an €855,000 termination fee after it was fired in June.

Short described the French team's transition as a "reasonably important" consideration in the manager-selection process after it was shortlisted with managers including BNP Paribas, AXA, Aberdeen and Schroders.

"Continuity is important to banks and shareholders," he said. "Perhaps the other firms shortlisted weren't prepared to hire the Invista team in Paris - I don't know."

Just over 40% of the fund's €450m in assets under management are in Germany, where Internos has a 21-member team.

Short said: "Any continental European portfolio needs work because the leases are shorter than in the UK, for example. You'll always manage your assets to get the best value."