EUROPE - Asset management firm Goodman Property Investors has picked up a series of new European real estate mandates from pension funds in recent months, the latest of which is from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The firm today revealed GSK's Common Investment Fund has asked Goodman to invest €150m in indirect continental European real estate through a separate account mandate.
However, this is one of several for Goodman as the company has now pulled in €1bn in indirect international real estate mandates in the last 18 months, including a €65m segregated pan-European mandate from the UK local authority pension fund of Shropshire Council Council.
Karin van der Sluijs and Richard Gale, both directors of indirect investment, will manage GSK's new mandate, alongside the indirect investment team of 10 people based in Amsterdam and London.
At the same time, the firm has now raised over €250m for its Eurozone fund of funds predominantly through UK European institutions and pension funds, including Hampshire County Council and the pension fund for Members of the European Parliament - a voluntary non-contributory defined contribution pension scheme.
Eurozone was launched just over a year ago as a specialist focused fund seeking a net target return of 10% per annum over the life of the fund, and still has an equity target of €300m to reach by July 2008. Its return to date is 9.6% per annum.
Most of the fund's investments are currently held in funds related to the European specialist real estate sector or with a geographic focus, but are still said by Andrew Smith, head of indirect investment at Goodman, to provide balanced exposure to the traditional office, retail and industrial sectors combined with investments next to specialist investments in residential property and car parks.
However, Goodman has said alongside plans to launch a UK logistics fund, it will also move into the Japanese listed J-REIT space some time within the next 12 months, having signed a strategic alliance with Asian property firm J-REP.
This may be in part because the property manager is warning increased cross-border activity willdrive further yield convergence across the continent and a "generalstalling of capital appreciation is likely" abeit smaller states,such as Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic States, may present newinvestment potential.
Goodman has total assets under management exceeding £14bn (€20bn) of which £2.2bn are invested indirectly.