Axa to expand on €1bn of debt

In line with other real estate firms, Axa Real Estate Investment Managers plans to grow its property debt investment business quickly given the opportunities likely to arise from banks holding investments on their balance sheets.

Axa Real Estate Investment Managers intends to expand its property debt investment business “very quickly”, according to chief executive Pierre Vaquier.

In an interview published in this month’s PERE, Vaquier also reveals the company plans to open an office in the US, as well as create a European development fund and possibly launch its third opportunity fund next year.

Vaquier says the firm – part of French insurer and wealth manager Axa Group – made its move into debt 18 months ago on behalf of a separate account client and currently has around €1 billion of assets under management. The firm overall has €43 billion AUM.

However, with the increasing opportunity to buy loans from banks Axa plans to manage third party funds as well as separate accounts. “We have started to position ourselves in this business,” he says, adding: “It is going to grow very quickly.”

During the interview, conducted at the firm’s Paris headquarters, the chief executive also explains how the company will expand further into Asia, and, in time, open an office in the US. The US office would serve to tap US institutional investors interested in Axa’s closed-ended and open-ended property vehicles.

Other elements of its strategy include launching a pan-European development fund and possibly a third opportunity fund in the region. Like previous vehicles, these are likely to be in the €400 million to €600 million range. To read more see the full interview in this month’s issue of PERE magazine. For subscription information, click here.