Australian super funds Cbus Super, Hostplus, TWUSUPER, together with an unnamed industry fund have committed US$190m (€176m) to Nuveen’s open-ended US offices, healthcare, and technology real estate fund.

The investors have become early movers to commit to the Nuveen US Cities Workplace strategy launched two years ago.

Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, Nuveen was able to engage the Australian super funds, which were attracted to the “opportunity set” offered by the strategy, Andrew Kleinig, managing director and head of Australia at Nuveen, told IPE Real Assets. In total, the core income strategy has so far raised US$220m.

The vehicle invests primarily across the medical office, life sciences, technology research and development and studio production sectors. 

Kleinig said seed capital from Nuveen’s parent company, the TIAA’s general account, enabled the fund to build a portfolio with a gross asset value of US$700m.

Kleinig said that discussions with the Australian funds took place over the past 18 months. “For us, this is the exciting start of four new partnerships with institutions looking to generate-long term income for their investees,” he said.

“Australian funds are interested in being able to access these asset classes as there are relatively limited options (to invest in them) from a domestic perspective. They are dipping their toes in the water to develop a knowledge base.”

Kleinig said he expected the vehicle to attract more Australian interest, noting that Australian super funds were prepared to invest in the strategy now, while others, including investors from Japan and the Middle East, preferred to wait until the fund reached a “significant size”.

“It is an open-ended fund. We have no target, given where we have seen the growth of the multifamily and industrial strategies – now between US$2bn and US$3bn and continuing to grow. We expect the workplace fund to reach a similar size over time.”

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