Swiss investors look to global value-add and opportunity funds

There are increasing signs that Swiss pensions funds are beginning to seek improved risk-adjusted returns by investing abroad as Pensimo Management selects Partners Group for global value-added and opportunistic mandate.

A clear sign emerged today that Switzerland-based pension funds are beginning to look more outside their national border for private real estate investments as Swiss Investment Foundation Pensimo Management selected Partners Group for a global value added and opportunistic investment strategy.

Pensimo Management, which looks after the real estate investment interests of dozens of Swiss pension funds grouped together in four different foundations, has already allocated CHF 140 million (€108 million; $147 million) to Partners Group on behalf of investors, and is set to allocate more.

Partners Group said in a statement that its appointment represented the first instance of a foundation investment programme that allowed Swiss pension funds to participate in the growth of the opportunistic private real estate market.

A spokeswoman for Partners said there was a shift in perception among Swiss investors, with more beginning to realise that a global exposure and different strategies offered improved risk-adjusted returns.

Swiss Investment Foundation Pensimo Management represents real estate foundations Pensimo, Turidomus, Imoka and Testina, each of which has numerous pension fund clients. Those clients include, for example, Fonds de Pensions Nestlé, Versicherungseinrichtung des Flugpersonals der Swissair Insurance (the flight crew of Swissair), and Personalvorsorgekasse der Stadt Bern Pension.
Paola Prioni, managing director of Pensimo Management, said in a statement that it chose Partners to gain access to attractive investment opportunities in the global private real estate market. He added: “Partners Group’s investments in the primary and secondary market are an ideal addition to our existing portfolio of core and listed assets.”

In a further sign that Swiss investors are beginning to look outside their national borders for real estate exposure, 4IP Management, which spun out of Sal Oppenheim Corporate Finance Switzerland earlier this year, has set up an international real estate fund of funds programme for domestic investors.

Zurich-based 4IP Management has a listed fund managed by Claudia Reich Floyd and plans an unlisted vehcile managed by Ulrich Kaluscha.