REAL ESTATE – The SEK281bn (€29.8bn) AMF pension fund is looking to more than double its current 6% investment allocation in real estate.

The scheme’s current real estate investment amounts to SEK16.2bn, but it is looking to stretch this to “no more than 15%”, said AMF asset management head Sarah McPhee.

“However, we won’t do anything that isn’t motivated by the market.”

She added: “This is a huge job, especially because we only do direct investment, and it’s totally domestically-orientated. Some might say it’s ‘almost impossible’ according to the market structure.”

AMF recently completed an acquisition of Salén – labelled “the largest single piece of property in Stockholm” – for an undisclosed amount.

The fund has roughly 50% invested in equities, and the remainder is in bonds. Responding to whether AMF is considering investing in alternatives such as hedge funds or commodities, McPhee said: “Never. Definitely not.”

AMF is also due to get a new real estate manager from May 1.

Mats Hederos, 46, will succeed Tom Jensen, 62, who is retiring on April 30 after 15 years at the scheme. There will be a roughly two-week handover period from April 18.

Hederos will head up a team of about 27 people, and answer directly to McPhee.

Hederos joins from AP Real Estate, where he worked for roughly three years. Before this, he worked for the corporate finance division of Enskilda Securities.

Towards the end of February, AMF Pension announced a 16% return for 2005 – up from 9.7% in 2004. Meanwhile, the average for the rest of the industry was pegged at roughly 13.2%.