AustralianSuper, the A$75bn superannuation fund that has begun to assemble a direct property portfolio overseas, has appointed Rockspring Property Investment Managers to buy large office and retail assets in continental Europe.
Rockspring is the second European-based manager appointed by AustralianSuper following two mandates made to TIAA Henderson Real Estate to invest in UK prime shopping centres and central London offices. AustralianSuper is Australia’s largest industry superannuation fund, and owns around A$6 billion of real estate assets, predominantly in its domestic market.
The Australian fund did not say how much it might invest except that it intends to expand its global direct real estate investments “significantly over the next five years”.
Rockspring said its mandate is to focus on large, landmark office buildings, both standalone or part of larger mixed-use schemes, located in principal continental European markets, as well as dominant retail investments such as prime super-regional shopping centres across continental Europe.
The firm’s chief executive, Robert Gilchrist said: We have been mandated to help them build, over time, a Europe-wide portfolio featuring strategic office schemes and dominant shopping centres. As Australian Super’s chosen Investment Manager in continental Europe, we have already started working closely with their real estate team to identify prospective acquisitions that fit the superannuation scheme’s investment strategy and risk / return profile.”
TIAA Henderson bought a 50% stake in centre:mk in Milton Keynes for £270m for the fund, last December. A follow-up mandate to buy central London offices was announced earlier this month.
AustralianSuper’s head of property is Jack McGougan.