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Sampension poaches Nordea head to boost property lending

Sampension has appointed former Nordea chief dealer, Theis Nygaard, to the newly created-role of credit portfolio manager. The Danish pension fund manager made the move to bolster its lending experience as it plans to lend more on commercial real estate.

Sampension has appointed Nordea Bank’s head of derivatives structuring, Theis Nygaard, to the newly created-role of credit portfolio manager.

The Danish pension fund manager made the move to bolster its lending experience as it plans to lend more on commercial real estate.

Theis Nygaard
Theis Nygaard

Nygaard, who started at Sampension on July 1, left his role at Nordic bank Nordea where he was chief analyst and head of derivatives structuring. He was previously at Société Générale in London.

Nygaard will report to Kasper Ullegård, head of fixed income at Sampension.

“Commercial property is one of a number of opportunities available to us. We could be lending against commercial property, or for a company takeover, or in leveraged loans,” said Ullegård.

Sampension has made commercial property loans in the past through a fund structure, but planned to bring much of the lending work in-house.

“Previously, we’ve worked through a manager who has helped us select and manage real estate loans but having it straight on our own balance sheet with title of transfer, that is new for us,” said Ullegård.

Sampenison was one of five Danish pension funds that gave AXA Real Estate a €485m senior debt investing mandate last year. The other four funds are AP Pension, TDC Pension, JOP and DIP, and the five set up the Kronborg Fund. The vehicle invests in large senior loans alongside other AXA Real Estate debt clients, targeting office, retail, logistics and hotel investments, mainly in the UK, France and Germany.

Ullegård said he expected the first loan on commercial real estate with Nygaard onboard to be completed before 2016. The total amount to be allocated to commercial real estate debt is yet to be determined.

“We have an appetite for commercial property [debt] but we don’t have a fixed number in our minds,” he said.

Sampension manages about €34bn worth of assets.

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