AustralianSuper has hired Rockspring Property Investment Managers to run its direct office and retail real estate investment strategy across continental Europe.

The move follows two previous mandates awarded to TIAA Henderson Real Estate to invest in office and retail in the UK.

The new mandate will focus on “large, landmark buildings” in “principal” markets, according to Rockspring, as well as “dominant retail investments such as prime super-regional shopping centres”.

AustralianSuper, the largest superannuatioin scheme in Australia with AUS$6bn (€4.14bn) dollars in assets, is seeking to diversify its real estate portfolio into global markets.

It made its first direct investment in Europe last year when it acquired a 50% stake in a shopping centre in Milton Keynes for £270m (€337m).

Jack McGougan, head of property at AustralianSuper, said: “We have been monitoring European markets closely over the last few years and we are now ready to establish a long-term presence through directly investing in the region.

“After a productive period of preparation with Rockspring, we believe that their track record and local expertise will be instrumental to the construction and evolution of our European property portfolio.”

Robert Gilchrist, CEO of Rockspring, said the fund manager had been working “to identify prospective acquisitions that fit the superannuatioin scheme’s investment strategy and risk-return profile”.