Aberdeen joins Asia rush with new fund of funds

Aberdeen Property Investors is expanding into Asia with the launch of an Asian fund of property funds.

Aberdeen Property Investors, the UK-based specialist property arm of Aberdeen Asset Management, is hoping to replicate Europe’s first and largest pooled property funds of funds, which it launched last year, with an Asian equivalent.

The Asian fund aims to raise $600 million (€468 million) by final close next year and will invest in property funds across the Asia Pacific region, including Japan.

The vehicle’s first close is expected this month. Kang Puay Ju is joining Aberdeen from Netherlands-based pension fund ABP Investments to identify investments. She previously spent six years as vice president at GIC Real Estate.

Aberdeen is hoping for a repeat of its success in Europe where its indirect property unit, Aberdeen Property Investors Indirect Investment Management (API IIM), raised €623.5 million ($800 million) from institutional investors around Europe, the largest such vehicle in the region.

Anders Astrom, managing director of API IIM, says: “We have been a pioneer in European property fund of funds, and now look forward to extending our expertise into Asia where the property investment market is developing rapidly.”

Other investment management groups are also looking to increase their product range with more funds of funds products.

ING Real Estate, for example, is set to raise two new international funds of funds as part of the launch of its global multi-manager business.

The London-based property fund manager aims to double the size of its indirect business in the UK and globally over the next five years, with the bulk of new investment in Asia and Europe.