ImmoFinRE targets pension funds to fuel €140m vehicle

Manager taps new capital source to back second emerging markets fund

ImmoFinRE Group is targeting pension funds for the first time to raise a further €70m of capital by the end of the year to invest in emerging markets. The indirect real estate investment manager is raising a second emerging markets fund of funds and so far has €70m of commitments. The five-year-old firm has an investor base of about 40 wealthy individuals and family offices, mainly in France, Belgium and Switzerland, including the family office of founder Philippe Winssinger, former chairman of DTZ in Belgium.

Management has committed €15m to the second fund and more than half the first fund’s investors are re-investing. ImmoFinRE investment head Elliot Glausiusz said the firm had launched “because there was no safe structure for high-net-worth investors to invest in emerging markets, as all the private equity real estate products were geared for institutions”.

He said the group’s investors believed growth in emerging markets was structural, not just cyclical. Its first fund, launched in May 2007, raised €80m of equity and invested in 13 funds. These included: three in Latin America, a Mexican residential fund, Brazilian affordable housing and diversified funds; two funds in China; two in India; one in Vietnam; and  one diversified Asian vehicle.

A third of the fund was invested in Europe “when assets looked cheap”, Glausiusz said. Most of the assets are managed by local managers, but Fund 1 is also invested in Asian and European MGPA funds. Glausiusz said that now the business had a track record it hoped to attract pension fund money. Jones Lang LaSalle Corporate Finance is advising on the fund raising. “We are focusing on European investors because we think they may need to get emerging markets exposure,” he added.