Several Australian superannuation funds are replacing the manager of a AUD600m (€409m) real estate fund.
During a meeting in Brisbane, investors in the LaSalle Australia Core Plus Fund voted today to replace LaSalle Investment Management with QIC Real Estate, according to sources.
One source said a group of mostly Brisbane-based superannuation funds took the lead in calling for a resolution, resulting in the closed-door meeting.
IPE Real Estate understand that there has been dissatisfaction among the fund’s investors, which number approximately 20, but sources did not elaborate.
LaSalle and QIC declined to comment on the meeting or the events leading up to it.
LaSalle has been the manager of the fund since 2011 when it took over Trinity Funds Management – as part of the US-headquartered company’s plans to expand in Australia.
There have been top management changes at the fund, which was first established in 1999. In 2012, Steven Leigh, head of Australia for LaSalle and the former CEO of Trinity, left to join QIC. Last year, Chris Forbes left Charter Hall to take over LaSalle’s Australian fund management business.
One source confirmed media reports that Brisbane-based investors, including Sunsuper, are thought to have controlled a sufficient amount of the register to secure the outcome against LaSalle.
It is believed the top 10 investors control about 75% of total capital.
Investors in the fund include the Australian Catholic Superannuation & Retirement Fund and AustralianSuper, which has a relatively small exposure.
The value of the management rights, which will now pass to QIC, were not revealed.
LaSalle will continue to have a presence in Australia through various funds and mandates. It has been investing in the country for Germany’s pension fund BVK as part of a global mandate.
One source said: “Obviously, these are early days. QIC’s immediate focus is to ensure a seamless transition in the management of the fund.”
Many of the investors are existing clients of QIC, which will help smooth the transition, he added.
According to LaSalle’s official information, the fund seeks total returns through consistent income and capital growth, with a component from active management and repositioning of property assets.
LaSalle said the fund differentiates itself from most of its peers through higher exposure to smaller and more management-intensive assets.