Aberdeen makes headway with RE fundraise

The firm has raised $215m for its property unit, which includes its latest global real estate secondaries fund.

Aberdeen Asset Management’s property unit has raised around $215 million in the past three months, including an undisclosed amount for secondaries.

In a statement announcing the final close on its fourth Asian property multi-manager fund, the UK-headquartered firm also said there were new opportunities in secondaries and highlighted regulation in Europe that reduces the appeal of unlisted property funds to insurance companies and banks, and forces pension funds to consolidate. This, in turn, leads to the rationalisation of portfolios.

“We think this is a favourable time to be investing in property as pricing remains attractive relative to bonds,” Puay-Ju Kang, head of property multi-manager at Aberdeen said in the statement. The deepening of the secondaries markets and the institutionalisation of sectors once perceived as alternative, such as student housing, senior housing and self storage, have broadened the Aberdeen’s opportunity set, Kang added.

A spokeswoman for Aberdeen declined to comment on the firm’s secondaries fundraising.

Aberdeen is seeking €500 million for a global real estate secondaries fund which will mainly focus on Europe, with an Asia-Pacific and Americas component, according to a December media report.

The firm’s fundraising comes amid a 40 percent drop in real estate secondaries volume in the last year as the mega-deals that drove a record 2015 dried up. Just over $5 billion-worth of deals closed last year, down from $8.2 billion in 2015, according to a report by secondaries firm Landmark Partners.

Last year, Aberdeen’s head of secondaries Colin Burrow told sister publication Private Equity International the firm was ramping up its secondaries business, particularly in private equity, in anticipation of a rise in deals fueled by macroeconomic volatility.

There were at least four dedicated real estate secondaries funds in market as of February, including Landmark Partners’ Real Estate Partners VIII which has a $2 billion target; Partners Group’s Real Estate Secondary 2017, which was registered in the US in October with an undefined target; and Carlyle’s Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management, which is seeking $1 billion, according to PERE data.