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MICHAEL NIELSEN

MICHAEL NIELSEN 2008-05-01 Staff Writer “Solid, thorough and conservative in approach and in character,” is how one European fund manager describes Michael Nielsen. Conservative he may be, but he has grown in influence over recent years as Denmark's largest pension fund has diversified from Danish real estat

“Solid, thorough and conservative in approach and in character,” is how one European fund manager describes Michael Nielsen. Conservative he may be, but he has grown in influence over recent years as Denmark's largest pension fund has diversified from Danish real estate to international markets. Overall, ATP Real Estate has €2.5 billion ($4 billion) in total assets, 40 percent of which is allocated to private real estate. His penchant for thoroughness was summed up in 2003 when he accepted an award in Europe for best property strategy. “The property funds are selected through a thorough due diligence process,” he said in typical straight-laced style. ATP Real Estate's website says each investment is preceded by “a meticulous balancing of risk and return.” As part of that balancing process, GPs are sometimes shocked when asked by Nielsen if they are willing to deliver their fund data to INREV before he agrees to invest in the fund. He is also another of those European LP big hitters INREV likes to call on when the association wants to promote its agenda for openness and he can count himself as being in the same club as Patrick Kanters of AGP, with whom he has a German co-investment vehicle. The pension fund likes joint venture investments on an opportunistic single-country basis. But Nielsen's influence does not just stem from being a large investor in real estate. He is a well-connected LP, being a director and advisory board member of several funds including CBRE's European Strategic Partners Fund III, UBS' Euro Value-Added Real Estate vehicle and ProLogis European Fund II. His influence is growing, too, after a study in 2006 prompted it to target North America.