Venn Partners is launching a residential mortgage arm in The Netherlands as it aims to boost its Dutch lending to €1bn by 2015.

The firm said it plans to develop a ”sustainable and growing presence” in the Dutch residential mortgage market.

Annual mortgage origination of €500m, as well as one RMBS issuance per year through its Cartesian platform, is being targeted by the London-based firm.

The decision to establish a new Dutch platform is, it said, part of a wider strategy to expand its direct lending in Europe, as the supply of credit moves away from banks and other traditional lenders.

Marc De Moor, an executive director of Belgian banking group, Argenta, has been recruited to lead the new business.

De Moor, who was chief executive of Argenta Nederland, said that following seven hard years and a 20% price drop, the Dutch housing market is showing signs of improvement, with ”increasing volumes of new lending, healthier margins and consumers who are more positive and receptive to new market entrants”.

De Moor said current dynamics in the Dutch mortgage market are ”interesting and challenging”.

Venn Partners invested in a €500m prime Dutch residential mortgage portfolio in 2013, buying the book from GE Artesia and refinancing it through Cartesian.

The firm was last year hired by the UK government to manage its guaranteed residential bond programme, aimed at institutional investors. The Department for Communities and Local Government awarded the asset manager a mandate to operate the £3.5bn (€4.4bn) Private Rented Sector Guarantee Scheme.