REAL ESTATE – Jones Lang LaSalle, the US real estate broker and asset manager, says that from January 1, it is creating a new German asset management services unit based in Düsseldorf.

JLL said that to lead the unit, it had recruited Hieronymous Hager, head of consulting and investment services at EPM Assetis, a real estate fund manager. Hager has previously worked at JLL in Düsseldorf as a director of capital markets.

JLL also said Hager would share responsibility for the new unit with Markus Reinert, who is currently head of management services in Germany. It added that the new unit would serve all institutions looking to invest in Germany’s real estate market.

"We will not, however, be providing the investment vehicle. Rather, we will act as a consultant to the investors with the aim of generating a higher return on their portfolios," Reinert told IPE Real Estate.

In Germany, JLL employs 350 people. Beyond Düsseldorf, they are located in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Wiesbaden.

Separately, German fund industry association BVI disclosed that the volume of German open-ended real estate funds had fallen to €74.2bn on September 30 from €88.4bn a year earlier.

Meanwhile, LaSalle Investment Management has finished its money raising efforts on its latest commingled fund, Canadian Income and Growth II Fund. The real estate manager raised $309.5m of equity in Canadian dollars.

There were a total of 17 investors in Income and Growth Fund II. These were all investors from Canada. The mixture included a combination of large and small corporate pension funds, several endowments from Canadian universities, a private investment company and one high net-worth individual.

LaSalle’s President of the commingled fund Zelick Altman said, "Our track record for the first fund did help us a lot attract capital for the second fund. Our leveraged IRRs for the first fund were projected to be 14%. They are now close to 20%. This was a major reason why we had more than 70% of the investors in the first fund invest with us for the second fund."

The projected returns for the second fund are a leveraged IRR in the low teens. This yield assumes a five-year holding period.