AXA Real Estate lands €350m mandate from French pension

Établissement Retraite Additionnelle de la Fonction Publique has charged the real estate business of French insurer AXA with building it a core property portfolio over 10 years that complies with its socially responsible guidelines.

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, the real estate investment management business of French insurer AXA, has won a mandate to invest €350 million in building out a core to core-plus European property portfolio on behalf of a French public service pension scheme.

The platform, managing more than €45 billion of assets globally for AXA insurers and external investors, won the 10-year mandate from Établissement Retraite Additionnelle de la Fonction Publique (ERAFP), which manages the retirement benefits of French government, local authority civil servants and staff of French public hospitals. ERAFP currently has €14 billion of assets under management and an allocation to real estate of up to 10 percent.

AXA Real Estate said the mandate was aimed at building a geographically and sector-diversified portfolio able to provide stable returns for ERAFP. A key element of the mandate is investments considered socially responsible, as ERAFP considers itself a “100 percent SRI institutional investor. In line with these guidelines, investments also may focus on assets where the SRI rating can be improved through an active asset management policy,” AXA added.

AXA Real Estate’s chief executive officer, Pierre Vaquier, added: “For this mandate, we also are able to align our own commitment to sustainable investment with the investor’s stated strategy of managing its assets in compliance with strong SRI principles.”

The mandate was won at public tender and forms part of a wider push by ERAFP to formulate a meaningful footprint in the real estate space. The mandate won by AXA Real Estate follows the selection of Paris-based AEW Europe in 2011 on a separate account basis to buy a Paris office property for up to €40 million.