Almazara, a Bussum-based institutional investor advisory practice launched by former executives at ING Real Estate Investment and Mn Services, has been awarded its first major portfolio management mandate from Pensioenstichting Transport (PST), the corporate pension fund for DHL Netherlands and other Deutsche Post Dutch subsidiaries.
The firm, which was only launched in September last year, has been mandated to manage a portfolio of non-listed real estate investments valued at approximately €100 million. The assets are part of PST’s total €800 million of assets across various sectors.
Bas van den Ijssel, who was previously a senior fund manager at Mn Services, said: “PST has invested in real estate with a predominantly core profile because of its diversification potential and its direct income. It is our job to ensure that the portfolio performs in line with that risk profile.”
Edwin Zwiers, PST’s controller, said: “While we are satisfied with our real estate investment and our real estate managers, the portfolio does require oversight by a specialized and experienced team. We’re confident that Almazara and its team will do the job, and enable PST to be in full control.”
Almazara is understood to have won the mandate following a competitive process. The mandate became available after previous portfolio manager Cordares was merged with APG Group, one of The Netherlands’ largest pension fund managers in 2008. Given APG’s operational model was to integrate portfolios into their central pool, it was deemed necessary to relinquish responsibility for the PST assets once a suitable replacement was identified.
Wietse de Vries, Almazara’s other partner and a former ING Real Estate Investment Management executive, told PERE: “They have a standing portfolio which is pretty much where it should be. We are redesigning for [PST] their strategic real estate plan but essentially it’s a ‘buy and hold’ portfolio.”
He added that Almazara is expected to grow with an additional hire this year as the firm attracts more business and another two hires next year. “We’ll manage this mandate between us but we do expect to get some more business by the second half of this year when we’ll need extra hands,” he said.