French asset manager Perial Asset Management expects to reach €6 bn in assets under management by the end of the year on the back of strong fundraising momentum in France.
Perial AM, which currently manages €5 bn of assets, mostly offices, in its home country, reported very strong inflows in the first quarter of 2022 and is planning to spend a record €1.2 bn on new acquisitions this year, says Laurent Boissin, who was recently appointed as Perial's new depuy CEO responsible for fund management and institutional sales.
‘The market has become extremely dynamic,’ Boissin told PropertyEU in an interview. ‘We are collecting a record amount of equity on the retail market in France so we intend to invest quite a lot this year.’
Commenting on the strong fundraising climate, Boissin said that real estate is still perceived as a safe haven asset class in France despite the current uncertainty. ‘We are seeing a wave of equity coming to the market,’ he explained. ‘On the one hand, French private investors are quite keen to invest in real estate, which is seen as a resilient asset class. On the other hand, real estate can provide higher income distribution compared to other resilient asset classes which are very stable as well but provide lower returns.’
As part of its diversification strategy, the company has recently been expanding both in terms of sectors and markets while seeking to reduce its exposure to the office sector. Perial AM started investing in the living sector in November 2020 with the launch of PF Hospitalité Europe, a new fund dedicated to nursing homes, student housing and healthcare assets across the continent.
’Our plan is to lower exposure to France by investing in other markets,’ added Boissin. ‘So far, we have invested in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Benelux and Spain. We have recently reviewed some investments in Portugal. So definitely the trend is to progressively increase our exposure to other European markets.’ Perial AM’s plans are to enter several new European markets this year, with the group currently actively sourcing opportunities in Ireland, Portugal and Poland.
Boissin, who was in charge of BNP Paribas REIM’s pan-European funds before joining Perial last November, has also been tasked with developing the institutional side of the fundraising business. Currently, the firm is relatively focused on retail fund products (SCPIs). Boissin: ‘We are looking to develop new funds for institutional investors and to start collecting more and more equity from institutions especially on behalf of our low-carb European Fund (PERIALEuro-Carbone, SRI-labelled fund). We are already working on a few club deals and small institutional funds and we might have more announcements about this in the next year.’
Since the start of Perial Asset Management’s European expansion in 2016, the company has built up a €1 bn portfolio abroad, and its funds are currently present in six countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Belgium).