The firm, led by French real estate veteran Bertrand Julien-Laferrière, has named Piani senior advisor and chairman of its investment committee.
Piani, who retired from Allianz at the end of last year after eight years in the top job, has been hired to help build the Paris-based firm’s real estate arm, which was only launched in September 2015.
“Our objective is to become a leading player in the real estate market, combining the company’s on-the-ground knowledge and relationships with the global perspective which has so often given Ardian its competitive edge,” Dominique Senequier, president of Ardian, said in a statement.
Ardian Real Estate plans to build-up a portfolio of commercial property assets in the eurozone focusing and will leverage off Ardian’s existing European resources. The firm will look to make senior appointments in France, Germany and Italy, Julien-Laferrière told Secondaries Investor‘s sister publication PERE in an earlier interview.
“It is going to be European, we don’t want to be just French. We want to be able to build up a portfolio of real estate investments across Europe. We feel that we will start more naturally in France, Germany and Italy because these are places where Ardian is well settled,” said Julien-Laferrière.
The move into real estate is the fifth investment arm of the Paris-headquartered firm, which also invests in alternative assets via Ardian Direct Investment, Ardian Private Debt, Ardian Fund of Funds and Ardian Infrastructure.
Ardian currently manages $50 billion of assets for 433 investors across the world, including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and high net worth individuals.