A new Swiss Life Asset Managers real estate fund which plans to invest €1bn in European healthcare assets has been seeded with a €246m portfolio.

Swiss Life said the core and core-plus fund intends to raise €600m in equity, which with leverage will enable it to invest €1bn in nursing homes, senior housing and other healthcare-related assets.

The manager has committed more than €180m worth of assets to the fund’s €246m seed portfolio of 16 senior housing homes in Germany and six senior housing assets in France. The fund is also in talks to buy a senior housing asset in Italy and another in France.

Valérie Maréchal, head residential and care at Swiss Life Asset Managers France, said: “In 2050, there will be one person over 60 for every two of working age. This presents a substantial challenge for European societies, which we want to help solve.”

Through this strategy, Swiss Life also wants to offer a sustainable investment solution for investors, Maréchal said.

“Not only do the structural drivers behind this asset class provide resilience and visibility, but they also offer relatively low correlation to other asset classes – a key characteristic amid the current volatility.”

Also and more importantly European healthcare assets delivered strong income returns in recent years relative to more traditional real estate sectors, Maréchal said.

“Most recently, healthcare real estate gained momentum and the sector seems to be in good shape to continue this positive trend in our post-COVID –19 market environment.

“Therefore we anticipate there will be growing interest from investors as the COVID – 19 pandemic brings the issue of healthcare to the forefront and reinforces our positive outlook for the sector.”

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