Blueprint: Aermont’s latest fundraise, Norge Bank’s continued buying in Paris and Berlin, PERE’s Global Investor Forum

Aermont takes €3.8 billion for fifth fund, Norges Bank adds more in France and Germany with Swiss Life, PERE's Global Investor Forum hits Asia, and more in today's briefing, exclusively for our valued subscribers.

They said it

“Right now, the trend of growth is really more in Florida today than in New York”

Stephen Ross, chairman and founder of Related Companies, told the Wall Street Journal of his belief in offices in South Florida. The comments echo Starwood’s Barry Sternlicht’s words from the prior week about the deluge of development in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District

What’s new?

Consistency is key: Aermont Capital’s Léon Bressler has seen his firm continue to achieve success via a consistent strategy focused on larger, more complex investments

Now and 10
Léon Bressler’s private equity real estate firm Aermont Capital cannot put a foot wrong these days if its fundraising exploits are to be judged. Striking its customarily understated tone, the London-based, Europe-focused manager announced mid-last week it raised had €3.8 billion for Aermont Capital Real Estate Fund V, the fifth in a series of opportunistic vehicles that started with the firm’s inception in 2007. Characterizing its strategy as essentially “proactive operator-orientated” and focused on “large complex investments”, the firm said the fund, like its predecessors, would be “operated subject to essentially the same mandate.” Institutions, including private pension plans and sovereign wealth funds from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East seem happy with that – their checks have pushed the firm’s since-inception aggregate fundraising past the €10 billion mark.

Familiar ground
Norges Bank Investment Management, steward to Norway’s colossal NKr12 trillion ($1.22 trillion; €1.2 trillion) sovereign wealth fund, is no stranger to the prime property markets of Paris and Berlin. But that has not stopped it entering further ventures for the markets, this time with Zurich-headquartered Swiss Life Asset Managers, which, when it comes to property, majors on France and Germany. On Friday, the partners announced the creation of an investment vehicle, managed by Swiss Life, which had been used to buy VoltAir, an approximately 300,000 square foot property in Berlin, for €457 million; and 86 Boulevard Haussmann, an approximately 110,000 square foot asset in Paris, for €217 million.

NBIM has bet big in Berlin already this year, buying a 50 percent stake in the 1.1 million square foot Sony Center in a May deal worth €677 million. Its most recently publicized transaction in Paris, meanwhile, was a sale: a half-share in the ‘Society Lorette’ property, which was disposed from a venture with AXA Investment Managers in a deal valued at €128 million.

PERE Investor Forum is back
With travel restrictions easing, PERE Investor Forum is returning to Tokyo on September 13 and Seoul on September 15. With the participation of some of the biggest domestic investors including Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund and South Korea’s National Pension Service, delegates will learn how the needs of Japanese and South Korean investors are being impacted by global issues such as hikes in interest rate and inflation, exchange rate volatility, supply chain disruption and geopolitical tension.

The event will connect investors, managers and strategic partners to discuss their real estate strategies, including the changes in allocation, investment destinations, real estate asset classes and ESG adoption. If you have not registered, it is not too late to attend the Seoul event to build relationships and discover investment opportunities.

Trending topics

BlackRock de-stings committee prep
Ask any selection of investment managers when they convene investment committees and the majority will tell you Monday. Not so BlackRock Real Assets’ newly-formed global value-add investment committee, which PERE detailed on Friday.

The committee’s chair, Thomas Mueller-Borja, who was promoted to global chief investment officer for the strategy as part of the platform’s push to centralize its investment decision-making processes, said Tuesday is the special day for this 10-person cohort. Why? So the committee has non-weekend time to digest meeting materials, of course.

“Because no matter how well prepared an investment team is, they always submit on a Friday. This is a kindness to the investment committee,” Mueller-Borja told PERE. The global committee replaces the regional committees that used to have autonomy for the strategy, which accounts for more than $4 billion of equity across funds for Europe, Asia and North America.

Heavyweight haul for proptech
VTS, a New York-based leasing and asset management platform, last week announced $275 million in new capital raising, comprising $125 million of funding led by CBRE and $150 million of debt financing from Canada’s CIBC Innovation Banking. The capital will help the firm bring on new talent and expand in the US, the UK and Canada. BentallGreenOak, AmTrust, Brookfield Ventures and Insight Ventures were also part of the financing. It is rare in the proptech market to see financing on this scale and it comes as one of the firm’s core group of users – office landlords – will be tapping into VTS’s data on how often offices are being used.

Data snapshot

From slip to slide
CBRE has now recorded two consecutive months of negative capital value growth in the UK, after recording -0.5 percent capital value growth in July. Declines in logistics weighed heaviest, bringing the total return down for UK commercial real estate to -1.2 percent.

People moves

MetaProp grows APAC presence as proptech market matures
New York-based real estate technology firm MetaProp is expanding into Asia Pacific with a new regional director as the proptech market continues to mature in the region. Based in Tokyo, Satoshi Murakami has been hired as director of MetaProp’s Asia Pacific business to connect its regional investors and founders. Prior to joining MetaProp, Murakami led Sumitomo Corporation’s real estate development business.

While the proptech market in Asia Pacific is still in a more nascent stage compared with the West, investors have recognized the need to diversify into the region. Earlier this year, PERE reported Australia’s real estate technology firm Taronga Ventures had received significant investments from Canada’s Ivanhoé Cambridge and Dutch pension manager APG Asset Management.

Investor watch

Re-up down under
Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC continues to be bullish on Australia’s logistics market. The investor extended its core-plus logistics partnership with Hong Kong-headquartered ESR Group by launching the A$600 million ($413 million; €408 million) ESR Australian Logistics Partnership III. The partnership was first established in March 2020 with an equity commitment of A$600 million, which was subsequently followed by a second in July 2021 with another A$600 million.

Both vehicles have been fully invested with a combined portfolio of about 6 million square feet across the country. GIC has been keen to build up its logistics portfolio in Australia. The state fund previously also partnered with ESR to acquire the A$3.8 billion Milestone Logistics from Blackstone in 2021, in one of the biggest industrial transactions in the country.

This week’s investor meetings

Tuesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 14

Thursday, September 15

Today’s letter was prepared by Peter Benson, with Jonathan Brasse and Christie Ou contributing