CBRE Global Investors and Fabrica Immobiliare SGR have entered into a partnership agreement to set up co-branded Italian regulated real estate funds.
The fund manager said the new vehicles will be mainly aimed at, but not limited to, Italian institutional investors.
CBREGI and Fabrica are the latest investors to create a joint fund management platform in Italy aimed at facilitating investment abroad. Earlier in December, Germany's IVG Immobilien joined forces with Italian REIT Beni Stabili to launch a platform which will promote and manage fund products for Italian institutional investors from an office in Milan. Last summer, Henderson Global Investors teamed up with Investire Immobiliare sgr in a similar move.
CBREGI and Fabrica are eyeing an initial target of €150 mln in the first 12 months and €400 mln in the next three years, said Florencio Beccar, country manager Italy, at CBRE Global Investors.
‘We have been active in Italy for over a decade and we are now at a juncture when our international clients are not specifically interested in this market,’ he told PropertyEU in an interview. ‘Our view on how to continue growing in Italy is to take advantage of institutional investors’ need to diversify their property portfolio abroad.’ CBRE Global Investors manages around €1.5 bn of assets in Italy.
After focusing on the local - mainly residential - market in the past decades, Italian pension funds are believed to be setting their sights on European real estate as a result of a regulatory push towards diversification combined with an ongoing moribund market at home. ‘On the one side, Italian pension plans need to diversify their property portfolios,' Beccar noted. 'On the other side, they are increasing their exposure to real estate as they cut down the weight of domestic bonds in their portfolio.’
Beccar said CBREGI had been analysing the Italian fund management industry and had identified Fabrica as the largest of the independent managers which still did not have an international match. ‘Fabrica is well inserted in the Italian financial plan community,’ he added. The company’s major shareholders are the Italian financial group Monte dei Paschi di Siena and family-owned construction company Caltagirone.
The partners will work together to structure and distribute one or more Italian closed-end regulated real estate vehicles focused on investing, directly and indirectly, in Italy and abroad. They already presented a tender offer for a fund on behalf of the pension fund for Italian lawyers and plans are to continue to participate in the sector’s upcoming tenders.
Fabrica will act as fund manager for the newly co-branded vehicles, while CBRE Global Investors will act as the advisor for the non-Italian asset allocation strategy, as well as investment selection and asset management.