AZ, Croatia’s largest pension fund, has made a €21m logistics investment as its first real estate investment.

As part of a new strategy, the pension fund has appointed M7 Real Estate to source commercial property investment opportunities in Croatia and act as a real estate advisor and asset manager.

M7 said AZ has made its first investment with the acquisition of shares in M7 Primo, a vehicle which has acquired a 33,000sqm logistics and distribution in Zagreb.

AZ, through its manager Allianz ZB, has acquired over 90% stake in M7 Primo, according to the pension fund’s website. Allianz ZB is owned by Allianz Zagreb and Croatia’s Zagrebacka Banka.

Mario Staroselčić, member of the management board and CIO of Allianz ZB, said market circumstances have changed significantly and the pension fund is therefore actively seeking alternative stable and secure investment opportunities.

“The primary goal of all our investments is to deliver optimum returns for our members while maintaining an acceptable level of risk. While meeting all these prerequisites, this latest investment strategy focused on commercial real estate will also further diversify our portfolio.

“We believe that the growing logistics and distribution sector, particularly in the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, offers an excellent initial opportunity to expand our investments.”

Mirta Ceranac Poljak, managing director of M7 Real Estate Croatia, said: “To be selected to help AZ pension funds, one of Croatia’s leading institutional investors, expand its investment strategy into real estate for the first time underscores the progress we have made in establishing ourselves as a market leader since our first investment here a little over four years ago, particularly given the competitive nature of the process.

“Croatia is a growing market with significant potential and we look forward to working with AZ, deploying our deep expertise and on-the-ground team to support the development and growth of this important investment platform.”

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