USAA Real Estate Company, a subsidiary of insurance company USAA, is investing in Europe for the first time through a logistics joint venture.

The company, which manages USAA and third-party institutional capital, has agreed a partnership with logistics developer Mountpark, which is led by John Cutts and operates in the UK, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

CEO Len O’Donnell said that, having already developed and invested in US logistics for several years, it was a “natural and logical choice” to enter Europe.

“With time we would expect to expand this focus,” he said.

“While Europe continues to lag the US in the current recovery, we have a positive long-term view of the European economy and see significant opportunities over the next several years.

“Now is the ideal time for us to begin taking advantage of those still-emerging opportunities.”

USAA Realco will run its European operations from Amsterdam. Its European office will be managed by David Buck who was recently managing director of the company’s global logistics development arm.

Buck will be joined by Maximillian von Below who joins USAA Realco from German family-office investor AM Alpha to lead client relations.

USAA Realco, which has around $12bn (€8.8bn) of assets under management, has invested in US real estate debt, last year committing to a loan origination programme in a joint venture with Square Mile Capital Management. The partnership earmarked as much as $1bn for deployment by the end of this year.

USAA Realco has also invested in US office, industrial, multi-family, retail and hotel properties. USAA RealCo also provides co-investment, acquisition and development services for corporate and institutional investors.