NETHERLANDS - Rockspring Property Investment Managers has opened its first office in the Netherlands and appointed Laurien Van Wieringen to head up its operations in the region.

The Netherlands has become an increasingly important real estate market for the investment manager's pan-European mandates, so Rockspring has sought to strengthen its on-the-ground asset management and deal sourcing capability.

The company currently manages a portfolio of Dutch retail and industrial assets worth more than €135m and plans to double its size over the next two years on behalf of a number of pan-European funds and separate mandates, targeting shopping centres and retail parks.

The opening of the new office coincides with Rockspring's latest investment in the country: the acquisition of the Bossche Boulevard shopping centre in Den Bosch for the Rockspring PanEuropean Property Limited Partnership for €44.25m.

Rockspring is backing the retail sub-sectors to continue to benefit from a stable local economy, relatively low unemployment, rapid growth of out-of-town retail and increasing competition among retailers looking to expand their market share in the Netherlands.

Jo De Clercq, partner at Rockspring with responsibility for transactions in Benelux and French markets, said: "Our decision to open an office in Amsterdam reflects our belief in the strength of the local market, especially with regards to the retail sector.

"With a strategic plan to double the size of our Dutch portfolio in the next two years, we are pleased to have completed our latest transaction in the region, acquiring an asset where there is excellent asset management potential over the medium term."

He added: "Our experienced local team will be executing specific management plans on this asset and the rest of our growing Dutch portfolio, as well as looking for attractive investment opportunities in targeted sectors across the region."

Van Wieringen, who will head up the new office, has worked for Rockspring since 2007 and before that IBUS, a Dutch property investment management company. Prior to this, she worked in the real estate team at Dutch pension fund asset manager APG.