AFIAA, the Swiss Foundation for International Real Estate Investments, has entered into a partnership with specialist manager Avadis.

The two institutions will pool direct real estate investment resources and run CHF4bn (€3.31bn) of assets.

AFIAA’s management has moved to Avadis as part of the agreement. Zurich-based AFIAA’s portfolio will remain unchanged, with a focus on direct global real estate investments.

AFIAA, owned by 34 Swiss pension funds, is aimed solely at tax-exempt Swiss pension funds. Avadis Investment Foundation manages around CHF9bn of investments for more than 100 Swiss pension funds, with a quarter being direct Swiss real estate investments.

Norbert Grimm, chief executive officer at AFIAA, said the co-operation brings together the “combined expertise” of both organisations and should “greatly boost” its direct real estate investments globally.

Grimm said he also sees potential for synergies in marketing, regulation and IT, as well as other business areas.

Grimm said: “For investors in AFIAA, everything stays the same except they will see some benefits from these changes over time.

“Our investors will benefit from the additional operating stability, efficiency and the synergies resulting from this move.”

AFIAA’s 30 employees keep their present roles; Avadis now employs 120 asset and pension specialists across Switzerland.

A new management company has been formed; no further integration is currently planned.

Professor Dr Peter Forstmoser, formerly a member of the board of foundation, has been named chair. Forstmoser replaces Andreas Markwalder who, after 10 years at AFIAA, will focus on new projects with GastroSocial, the social insurance provider for the restaurant sector.

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