South Korea’s largest independent real estate fund manager IGIS Asset Management is seeking approval to list on the Korean Stock Exchange by the first quarter of next year.

IGIS currently manages around US$20bn (€17bn) of capital from Korean and international sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies and other institutional investors.

The initial public offering will make IGIS the first real estate fund manager in Korea to float.

IGIS told IPE Real Assets that its rationale for wanting to be a public company was to provide an opportunity for private investors to access Korea’s rapidly-growing real estate capital and fund management markets.

It also believes that, as a public company, it will enhance transparency and efficiency of management - and further its aspiration to become one of the leading fund managers in Asia.

According to industry sources, IGIS will have an initial market capitalisation of between US400m and US$500m upon listing.

IGIS was recently selected by Korea’s National Pension Service and Korea Post for their value-add investment mandates for the domestic market. For these mandates, the firm plans to establish a US$350m vehicle, which, it says, will be the “biggest-ever exclusive comingled fund” in Korea.