German institutional investors Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK) and Versicherungskammer Bayern Group (VKB) are investing in a New York real estate asset with more than 100,000sqft of vacant office space as part of a consortium led by Deutsche Finance Group.

BVK, Germany’s biggest pension fund is investing in the top floors of the ‘Gucci Building’ on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue alongside VKB, Germany’s biggest public insurer, and institutional funds managed by Deutsche Finance Group, spokeswoman confirmed.

The consortium also includes Turkish private equity real estate real estate firm BLG Capital.

The upper floors of the building, which used to house Gucci’s New York headquarters, were owned by Brookfield’s GGP and Thor Equities.

Deutsche Finance Group’s newly-established US arm, Deutsche Finance America, is responsible for the recently-acquired office property.

Symon Godl, managing director asset management at Munich-based Deutsche Finance Group, told IPE Real Assets that the firm had been planning to open a US operation, and these plans were brought forward to coincide with the deal.

“The US is one of the most important markets for us and we are increasingly active in it, so it is important for us to have a base there,” he said.

Deutsche Finance Group has existed since 2005 in Munich, and last year the company set up its first foreign subsidiary in the form of Deutsche Finance Group International in London.

Godl said the US office would play a key role in generating deals.

“We have a clear focus on opportunistic investments, and acquisitions with core property are often arranged off-market,” Godl said, adding that this was one reason why it was important to have a local presence in the US.

Jason Lucas has already been appointed as the Denver-based managing director of Deutsche Finance America, and three or four further employees are to be hired soon, Godl said.