Real IS has invested an undisclosed amount to buy a 15% stake in Hamburg-based investment intermediary Real Exchange (REAX).

REAX, which serves institutional investors, is an adviser on the trading of real estate fund units.

Jochen Schenk, CEO of Real IS, said: “In the wake of the Corona crisis, we are anticipating that institutional investors will want to reshuffle their real estate portfolios so as to comply with statutory investment limits, for instance.

“Redeeming fund units on the secondary market is by far the more attractive option.”

Schenk said investing in REAX enables Real IS to position itself in the growing German market for open-ended real estate special alternative investment funds at an early stage.

“We expect the market volume of the secondary market to be between two and five billion euros in the years ahead.”

Bernd Lönner, deputy chairman of Real IS’s management board, said: “A fund-managing KVG can only convince buyers by presenting the unit value or net asset value.

“Funds may often have reserves or even hidden losses, however, and the performance and anticipated cash flow of the fund properties hinge on management’s administration.”

Lönner, who is also a new supervisory board member of Real Exchange, added that having recourse to an independent consultant is necessary for avoiding any conflicts of interest.

Heiko Böhnke, a member of REAX’s management board, said: “Real IS’s entry is a clear sign that the secondary market is increasingly on the radar of investors and fund managers.”

Jörn Zurmühlen, a member of REAX’s management board, said: “We are delighted that in Real IS we have another leading investment company participating in REAX. This highlights our position as an independent and neutral platform.”

REAX’s other shareholders are HIH Invest and Intreal International Real Estate Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft.

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