Swiss Life Asset Managers has launched its first pan-European real estate fund to be managed from Mayfair Capital’s London office.
The European Thematic Income & Growth Fund, which has been given €150m in co-investment from Swiss Life, is the first vehicle to be launched after Maureen Mahr von Staszewski joined the company earlier this year to lead a new pan-European business.
Swiss Life, which acquired UK real estate fund manager Mayfair Capital in 2016, has been investing in the company to expand it domestically and to use it as a base for pan-European real estate funds.
Mayfair has been carrying out investments in the UK on behalf of Swiss Life – including its largest-ever acquisition this summer – but the insurance company also has appetite to co-invest in new funds for third-party investors.
“We are pleased to support this strategy with significant balance sheet allocation alongside our clients,” said Stefan Mächler, group CIO of Swiss Life.
“We believe that our dynamic, differentiated management style for diversified open-ended fund investment will appeal to investors such as pension funds, insurance companies and other international institutions.”
The new fund follows on from the UK Thematic Income & Growth Fund, launched last year, which also included co-investment from Swiss Life.
The latest fund is open-ended and intends to build up a diversified portfolio of core and core-plus assets.
It has an initial target allocation of 60% to large, liquid German and French markets, and a 10% weighting to the UK.
Mahr von Staszewski, senior fund manager who joined Mayfair Capital from Cromwell Property Group, said it will “focus on well located assets in major European cities, benefitting from a strong urbanisation trend, or in key regional hubs with exposure to increased connectivity”.
She added: “Demographic shifts, the extension and revitalisation of urban infrastructure, improved connectivity, digitalisation, as well as evolving lifestyle and environmental expectations, are among the themes profoundly impacting on society’s requirements from leased physical space.”
The fund has a 40% target allocation to offices, 25% to industrial, 10% to retail and 25% to residential and other sectors.
“Our allocation will focus mainly on offices and industrial assets but will be able to invest in residential and related thematic niches,” Mahr von Staszewski said.
“In the near term, modest allocation to the retail segment may be achieved in attractive mixed-use destinations which are well-protected from the changes underway as a result of the increasing impact of online sales.”