Top100 Investors revealed: Who are the largest holders of European real estate?

PropertyEU’s Top100 Investors ranking measured by European assets under management (AUM) is now available online.

To view the listings for the Top100 Investors please go to www.topinvestors.info where subscribers will be required to log in using their password for the PropertyEU website. Non-subscribers will be required to take a trial subscription to view the ranking; this can be requested by sending an email to subscriptions manager Gillian Brown at brown@propertyeu.info.

The entire Top100Investors supplement published in December 2018 is also available complete with commentary, data and analysis here: https://propertyeu.info/digital/top-investors-december-2018/index.html. Please note that subscribers need to be logged into the website first.

This latest PropertyEU ranking of the Top100 Investors is measured by 2017 real estate AUM in Europe based on surveys sent out at the beginning of 2018 (for the March Deal and Dealmakers ranking) and again in the summer of 2018 for the Top100 ranking. The surveys were issued to more than 450 listed and non-listed investment managers and investors of all types and sizes. The companies featured in this ranking have been grouped into broad categories related to their primary capital base: insurance, pension, financial, private equity and broker-owned.

Top of the pack

Swiss Life Asset Managers tops the ranking for the fourth successive year, though the company it deposed, AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, has closed the gap in second place. These two insurance giants, with more than €60 bn invested in European real estate, are clearly ahead of a chasing pack led by banking group Credit Suisse.

Six of the top 10 companies by European AUM are either owned by insurance companies or banks, and hail from Switzerland, France, Germany or the UK.

Although the insurance industry dominates the top end of the order, it is the listed property sector which has more strength in depth, with 31 companies accounting for €449 bn out of a total AUM volume of €1.57 tln.

In geographical terms, domestic players continue to dominate the scene although a quarter of the Top100 were based outside Europe, mostly in the US and Canada. The total volume of assets managed by this latter group increased to €236.5 bn, or 15% of the total.

Star movers

The biggest climbers in the ranking include German listed property company Patrizia Immobilien. It has romped into the top 10 by adding €18.5 bn and rising a total of 20 places. This performance is thanks mainly to takeover activity.

Standard Life Aberdeen and its new investment management business Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) is another standout. The result of an £11 bn merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, the combined new entity has €42.3 bn of European real estate and rocketed straight into 6th position overall.

Corestate Capital has arguably risen in even more stunning fashion than Standard Life Aberdeen and Patrizia, albeit off a much lower base. This company fell outside the top 50 measured in 2016 but is now the 24th largest player. In the space of just 12 months, Corestate Capital has risen a total of 30 places, more than any other company, having gone from €9 bn to €21.9 bn – equivalent to 143% growth.

Outside of the aforementioned companies, there are noteworthies sprinkled throughout the Top100 which have been adding AUM at an eye-catching speed, whether listed, bank-owned, insurance company-owned, broker-owned, or independent boutiques.

Of the top 50 players, the average growth among expanding companies is €3.1 bn of net annual AUM. AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets – managed €8.3 bn, while Credit Suisse added €6.8 bn. German residential company Vonovia grew €6.3 bn and the Netherlands’ APG Asset Management put on €5.3 bn. Amundi Real Estate added €5.2 bn while Savills Investment Management along with BNP Paribas REIM grew by €4.9 bn. London-based Savills Investment Management, ultimately owned by London-listed property services firm, Savills plc, managed to climb 10 places. Hats off to all these companies.

Unless otherwise indicated, the ranking is based on the euro value of real estate assets under management in Europe as at 31 December 2017. Figures have been rounded off.

If your company is not listed and you feel it should be or if you wish to update your profile, please let us know at topinvestors@propertyeu.info.

The Top100 Investors ranking was compiled for PropertyEU by Gordon Darroch