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Russell wins EUR135m real estate mandate from SBZ

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Russell Investments has been awarded a EUR135m real estate mandate from SBZ.

Russell Investments has been awarded a EUR135m real estate mandate from SBZ.

SBZ (Stichting Bedrijfstakpensioenfonds Zorgverzekeraars) was previously invested in a portfolio consisting largely of direct Dutch properties with some unlisted Dutch property funds.

A decision was made by the SBZ investment committee in 2008 to diversify six per cent of the scheme’s total assets – approximately EUR135m of the portfolio – outside the domestic market. 

Peter van Gemst, director finance and investments at SBZ, says: ‘Analysis was conducted on our real estate assets and showed it would be prudent to diversify our concentrated, domestic exposure. The research showed that the optimal mix for our property allocation should be around 25 per cent Dutch, 50 per cent European, 15 per cent US unlisted property funds and about ten per cent listed global property funds, so we began looking for a manager with a track record for researching funds on a global basis and experience implementing moves from direct real estate to indirect.

‘The research also showed that the portfolio should consist of about 40 per cent residential property 20 per cent retail, 30 per cent offices and ten per cent logistics and other exposures.

‘Finally, we wanted the portfolio to have a minimum of 70 per cent core funds and up to 30 per cent value-added and opportunistic funds. Russell’s expertise implementing complex and customised strategies made us confident that they were the best placed to partner with us on this initiative.’

Derek Williams, director, real estate at Russell Investments, says: ‘We are delighted to be collaborating with SBZ on this assignment. At Russell we believe that market conditions indicate an opportune time to build out a global indirect portfolio. Many funds that previously were overvalued have experienced considerable price correction. Using Russell’s proprietary database of funds investing in Europe, Asia and the Americas’ real estate, we are working closely with SBZ on the timing of the sales of the direct portfolio and the purchases of the funds.’

Russell has managed real estate funds and/or separate accounts for over 25 years and currently employs a global team of ten investment professionals working in private real estate.

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