Finland’s second largest pensions insurer Ilmarinen has linked up with New York Life Insurance Company to invest in US commercial real estate.

The new partnership has already bought six office properties worth $620m (€530m) and plans to double the volume of investments in the coming years, Imarinen said.

The joint venture is 49% owned by Ilmarinen with the majoity stake going to New York Life. New York Life Real Estate Investors — a division of NYL Investors — will manage the assets.

Mikko Antila, portfolio manager in charge of international real estate investments at the €38.5bn pension fund, said: “The strategic partnership with a traditional and respected institutional investor offers us a strong foundation to expand our investments in US real estate markets.”

The cooperation gave the Finnish investor deep insight into local commercial property markets, he said.

The first investments are in office properties in Boston, Washington DC, Charlotte, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County.

“The purchased properties represent a geographically diversified portfolio in growing metropolitan areas on both the East and West Coast of the US,” Antila said.

“Our investments will focus on office properties that are technically sound and functionally modern with good occupancy rates.”

In recent years, Ilmarinen has invested in the US housing market and in an office property in the greater Washington DC area.

Ilmarinen also has European direct real estate investments in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands alongside its domestic investments.

It now has nearly €4.4bn invested in real estate with about 16% of this invested abroad.

But Finnish investments will continue to form the core of the pension fund’s real estate portfolio, Ilmarinen said, adding that domestic real estate investments were also growing.