Samsung Life is to acquire a 25% stake in Savills Investment Management and commit US$1bn (€819m) to the real estate fund manager’s investment strategies over the next four years.

The South Korean insurer and its real estate subsidiary Samsung SRA are entering a “strategic investment alliance” with Savills IM to invest in real estate debt and equity in Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Samsung Life is paying £63.7m (€73.7m) in cash for the stake and has the option to increase its interest by a further 10% if at least US$2bn is committed over time.

The capital could come from both Samsung Life itself and other Korean institutional investors advised by Samsung RSA and it could used to invest in existing investment products and to seed new strategies.

The tie-up comes shortly after Savills IM took full ownership of real estate debt specialist DRC Capital and launched pan-Asian real estate fund.

The shareholders agreement with Savills, the parent company of Savills IM, will provide customary minority protections to Samsung Life while maintaining Savills IM’s operational and investment autonomy.

Savills IM, which changed its name from Cordea Savills in 2015 after it acquired the €10bn real estate fund manager SEB Asset Management.

Alex Jeffrey, CEO of Savills IM, said: “This transformational alliance will be unique in the industry, combining Savills IM’s existing strengths as an investment manager with extensive local transaction and asset management capability in real estate debt and equity markets, with the strong capital support of Samsung Life.

“It will significantly enhance and accelerate our ability to provide attractive investment products for all our investment clients.”

Mark Ridley, CEO of Savills, said: “Samsung Life is a long-standing client of Savills both in Korea and internationally and this transaction will allow the strengths of both Savills Group and Samsung Life to drive further growth in the Savills IM platform.”

Youngmuk Jeon, CEO of Samsung Life, said: “Samsung Life is excited to invest in Savills IM, one of Europe’s leading real estate asset management platforms.

“We are confident that Savills IM is well positioned to help us expand our real estate investment network globally and that this strategic alliance, underpinned by our capital provision, will support and accelerate Savills IM’s growth over the long term.”

Bumchul Lim, CEO of Samsung SRA Asset Management, said: “It will strengthen our ability to provide attractive real estate investment opportunities at a time of heightened investor demand.

“With its 30-year track record, extensive network of 16 offices across 13 countries in Europe and Asia and broad product range, Savills IM is well positioned to address this market opportunity.”

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