Swiss Life Asset Managers is buying London-based property fund manager Mayfair Capital Investment Management.

In the UK, Mayfair Capital manages the Property Income Trust for Charities and is adviser to the Mayfair Capital Property Unit Trust (on behalf of clients of Schroder Real Estate Capital Partners).

The firm also manages the Mayfair Capital Commercial Property Trust for clients of Jupiter Asset Management.

Two residential debt funds are also managed by the company for pension funds and high net worth individuals.

Swiss Life AM said it had the ability to provide co-investment and long-term capital to new funds, as well as invest in new funds Mayfair Capital launches.

The deal, due to close by year-end, will add £1bn (€1.1bn) of assets under management (AUM) to Swiss Life’s £55.3bn of real estate AUM.

Stefan Mächler, CIO at Swiss Life Group, said the acquisition was an important step in the group’s growth strategy in a core strategic area.

“With Mayfair Capital, we can expand our regional presence and strengthen our position as one of the leading institutional real estate and asset managers in Europe,” he said.

“The transaction will also enable us to extend our existing client relationships and gain access to new clients.”

Mayfair will continue to trade as Mayfair Capital in the UK, while James Thornton will remain as chief executive and Robert Palmer as CIO.

The acquisition of a highly regarded UK property fund management business has been a key business objective of Swiss Life following its acquisition of businesses in France and Germany in recent years.

The transaction brings together real estate teams in Switzerland, Germany, France and the UK, creating a pan-European business with some £55.3bn of real estate AUM.

Thornton said Mayfair Capital’s board had been looking for a strategic partner to assist with its growth strategy.

“The transaction will provide clients with access to a wider range of investment solutions across the major European markets and an investment platform with significantly enhanced distribution reach,” he said.