Aberdeen eyes Nordic residential funds

The real estate arm of Aberdeen Asset Management is looking to Sweden as the first in a country-by-country series of funds investing in residential property.

Aberdeen Asset Management, the European investment firm that manages €204 billion of assets, is planning a series of residential property funds in the Nordic region, PERE can reveal.

Speaking at the annual PERE Nordic Roundtable event published in this month’s issue of the magazine, Tonny Nielsen, head of investment management for the Nordic region and Eastern Europe, said Sweden was first country on its planned roll-out, with soft-circled commitments already in place.

Nielsen said the strategy was in part derived in response to a realisation by investors during the credit crisis that they were perhaps “over-allocated” to offices. He said: “That turned out to be more volatile and has been hit. Most are beginning to think they should have some kind of allocation to residential, so we are setting up residential funds now.”

Aberdeen employs around 300 people in the Nordic region and has a number of active investment funds ranging from regional to country-specific.

On 1 July, one of those vehicles, the Aberdeen Property Fund Denmark, announced the acquisitions of a €90 million commercial property portfolio from the TDC Pension Fund.

Aberdeen paid half in cash and half in units in its fund for the 22 mainly office properties, thereby making TDC Pension Fund the largest shareholder in Aberdeen Property Fund Denmark.

In an announcement on the deal, Nielsen said: “We are also pleased that more institutional investors are moving from direct to indirect property investments and thereby diversify their portfolio. Regardless of difficult market conditions, our track record shows that the professional investor can create excess returns by divesting properties to the right property managers.”

For the full PERE Nordic Roundtable 2011, click here.