The Swiss investment manager Empira Group wants institutional investors in the Nordics to open their eyes to real estate deals in the German-speaking part of Europe known as the DACH region.
Therefore, they are expanding their newly opened Swedish office with the hire of a salesman familiar with Nordic institutional clients.
With more than a decade of experience from the Swedish asset manager Handelsbanken Fonder, Peter Von Euler has been appointed director of client solutions in the Nordics.
He will help the managing director and head of Nordic client relations Christopher Andersson to establish the manager’s presence among large institutional investors in all the Nordic countries.
”We hope to become the institutional investors’ first option when it comes to getting access to real estate deals in Germany and Austria, which historically has been a difficult market to enter as a foreign investor,” Jorge Veiga head of client solutions at Empira tells AMWatch.
Locally, the Empira Group has been growing rapidly over the past ten years and has recently hit a point where external capital is needed to grow further. The same goes for the real estate market in the DACH region, Veiga says.
“The real estate market in the DACH region has historically been covered by local entities. But as of today, there is a need for external capital. And that’s what we hope to deliver with the help from Nordic clients.”
He explains the reasons why the manager wanted to expand to the Nordics.
Firstly, the Nordics on an aggregate basis form the biggest pension market in Europe with over EUR 2.4trn in total pension assets.
Secondly, Swedish investors have increased their spending on foreign real estate in the past few years, and according to data from Savills, Swedish investors bought German real estate worth EUR 7.9bn in 2021, which was eight times the number invested the previous year.”
Veiga and the Nordic team have already met with investors in all the Nordic countries. As an example, he mentions the Swedish AP-funds, an experienced investor in foreign real estate, as a possible partner.
The timing of entering a new market could prove difficult as transaction volumes are dropping across the European real estate market and investors have become wary of deploying capital in reaction to the rapid rate hikes from central banks.
Under these circumstances, Veiga believes that Empira’s specialized local strategy will give the manager a competitive edge over real estate managers with a broader focus.
“I think that sort of selectiveness from investors is going to actually play in favor of managers that have a specific ability and are specialists in something versus general managers that have been overexposed to all sorts of assets. Compared to other managers, we have a differentiated offering.”
”We are a specialist when it comes to real estate equity in central Europe, and then we’re also offering investments in the US. We are a fully vertically integrated RE platform, from development to asset management, covering both the debt and equity space of the asset class. So that is, I think, a big differentiator from the typical pan-European solution that you would see trying to get into the market,” Veiga says.
The Empira Group has EUR 7.1bn in assets under management split between EUR 4.5bn in real estate equity and EUR 2.6bn in real estate debt. Most of the assets are based in the DACH region. Apart from the Swedish office, the manager employs 220 people across its UK, US, Switzerland, and Austria offices.