NETHERLANDS - Stichting Bedrijfstakpensioenfonds Zorgverzekeraars (SBZ) awarded a €135m (US$198m) real estate mandate to Russell Investments in an effort to reduce its home-country bias.
Director of finance and investments at SBZ Peter van Gemst said the move was part of a long-term decision made in 2008 following an analysis on its real estate assets to invest outside of the Netherlands. Its real estate portfolio previously consisted of direct investments in Dutch properties.
van Gemst said: "The research showed that the optimal mix for our property allocation should be around 25% Dutch, 50% European and 15% US unlisted property funds.
"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."
Russell director of real estate Derek Williams said: "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."
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