USAA debuts in Europe

The San Antonio-based firm has acquired a logistics asset in Amsterdam to kick start its first European acquisition program abroad 

USAA Real Estate Company, the $12 billion real estate investment management arm of the United Services Automobile Association, has made its first investment in Europe.  Its debut acquisition in the region is a 365,000 square foot logistics property in Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands.

The company announced the purchase yesterday, adding that the Class A warehouse facility was acquired through USAA RealCo – Europe, a wholly owned Dutch subsidiary. The transaction includes both an income producing property, as well as 19 acres of developable land, where it has a logistics developer lined up to build a new 307,000-square-foot logistics facility.

USAA Real Estate’s European debut in the Netherlands follows the launch of the company’s first European office in Amsterdam in April, as the first move in a strategy to expand investing in the region. Separately, the firm also has formed a development and investment venture with Mountpark Logistics to initially focus on logistics development across continental Europe. The first projects from this venture are expected to be announced soon.

Len O’Donnell, USAA chief executive officer, said of the transaction:“It is with great pleasure that I announce our first European investment following the launch of our European operations in Amsterdam this past summer.”

David Buck heads up the business in Europe, having joined a few months ago. Just last week, the firm announced another plank in its expansionary strategy, with the addition of Maximilian von Below as head of client relationships, Europe. Von Below reports to chief financial officer Jim Hime and Susan Wallace, executive managing director in the firm’s global investors group. He has joined from AM alpha in Munich, where he served as a director responsible for institutional sales and pan-European marketing.