The A$280bn (€170bn) Australian Retirement Trust (ART) has opened its first overseas office in London as it seeks to further capitalise on international investment opportunities, focusing on property and infrastructure and listed markets.

Australia’s second-largest superannuation fund has more than 40% of its assets invested outside Australia and more than A$25bn invested in the UK and continental Europe.

ART was created through the merger of SunSuper and QSuper more than two years ago, and it follows AustralianSuper and Aware Super in setting up offices in London.

Ian Patrick, CIO of ART, said the move reflected the scale of investments now being undertaken since the fund’s merger more than two years ago.

“Australian Retirement Trust partners with world-class external managers and this is the next logical step for us to expand our investment capability,” he said.

A small team is now based in its office in Marylebone and the plan is to grow its presence in the UK incrementally.

The team will be close to the fund’s largest investments in Europe, including Heathrow Airport. It also has interests in Birmingham and Bristol airports. Other investments include Space Station Self Storage in the UK and student housing in Europe.

The bulk of the fund’s offshore investment is externally managed, and the plan is to work with external investment managers to source new investment opportunities.

“Having an office in close proximity to our external investment managers will help us secure even more compelling investment opportunities for our members,” said Patrick.

ART’s head of global real assets, Michael Weaver said the ART team had already met the British foreign secretary David Cameron on his visit to Australia last month to discuss investment opportunities in the UK.

“As a profit-for-members fund, delivering strong long-term performance for our members is critical for ART. We look forward to capitalising on suitable infrastructure and real estate investments in the UK and Europe that our members will benefit from into retirement,” he said.