Ardian launches real estate arm

French real estate veteran Bertrand Julien-Laferrière will lead Ardian's efforts in European, non-residential real estate investing.

Ardian, formerly known as AXA Private Equity, has formed a real estate investing arm called Ardian Real Estate. 

Ardian Real Estate will focus on the European, non-residential real estate investing and be led by French real estate veteran Bertrand Julien-Laferrière. 

Julien-Laferrière's career has included senior roles at Accor, Club Med, C.G.W, Unibail-Rodamco and, lastly, France's oldest property company, Société Foncière Lyonnaise (SFL), where he held the position of chief executive.

“I know well Ardian's reputation for having a disciplined and long-term investment philosophy and a strong culture of excellence and entrepreneurship. These values will underpin everything we do whilst we build a leading European team and develop this new real estate proposition,” commented Julien-Laferrière, who has assumed the title of head of real estate. 

The move into real estate is the fifth investment arm of the Paris-headquartered firm, which also invests in alternative assets via: Ardian Direct Investment, Ardian Private Debt, Ardian Fund of Funds and Ardian Infrastructure. 

“Ardian has established itself as a leading player in the global investment industry. The founding of this fifth pillar is a natural progression for us as we continue to evolve and develop. It will not only strengthen and diversify our offering for clients, but will also provide a substantial growth opportunity for the company,” said Dominique Senequier, president of Ardian. 

In March 2013, due to the implementation of the Solvency II, France-headquartered insurance company AXA decided to sell Ardian, then known as AXA Private Equity, to external investors and to its managers. In September 2013, the spin off was completed with Ardian's management and employees owning 46 percent of the company, external investors having 31 percent, and AXA Group taking 23 percent. 

Ardian currently manages $50 billion for over 350 investors across the world, including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and high net worth individuals.