Henderson teams with local manager to expand in Italy

Joint venture with Investire Immobiliare will launch pan-European fund

Henderson Global Investors plans to launch a pan-European fund for Italian investors after setting up a joint-venture in Italy with Investire Immobiliare.

Henderson has had a business running Italian SGR funds since 2005, with a small staff managing 14 local assets worth €1.2bn.

Investire Immobiliare is Italy’s  third largest property asset manager, with €4.2bn of assets under management. It is owned by private bank Banca Finnat.

Alberto Albertazzi, general director of Henderson SGR,  said that last year Henderson Property decided the best way to expand in Italy “was to create a partnership with a partner that had good distribution capabilities with institutional investors  and also asset origination capabilities, because our Italian office is small.

“Investire fitted and was also looking to grow, by offering its clients products abroad, and to develop internationally.” Albertazzi said he hoped the first joint fund, with a core/core- plus profile, would be launched by the summer.

“The idea is to offer Italian pension funds and institutional investors, who are interested in diversifying, the expertise of an international player.” He said the vehicle was likely to be structured as a club for a small number of investors.

Later, when domestic market conditions improve, the partners will look at developing funds for international investors, mainly investing directly or indirectly in Italian real estate.

Henderson expanded into Germany via a joint venture with Warburg, founding the Warburg-Henderson KAG 11 years ago. That venture has €4.1bn of assets under management in 17 funds with assets in 10 countries. Henderson is likely to pursue further international expansion via partnerships.

Henderson SGR’s managed assets include three outlet centres owned by the pan-European Henderson Outlet Mall Fund; three shopping centres in the Henderson Herald Fund; and five retail  and office assets owned by its German KAG funds. It has two small local funds, the Azzurro Fund and DSPF 1 Italia Fund.