Pictet Alternative Advisors (PAA) has expanded it alternative strategies with the launch of a direct real estate fund for professional investors.
The new strategy will be managed by a 14 person team led by Zsolt Kohalmi, who joins PAA from Starwood Capital, where he was head of acquisitions in Europe.
Kohalmi has more than 20 years of experience managing more than 20 billion dollars in private real estate investment.
The fund will invest in European real estate assets and related companies across sectors such as offices, residential assets, student and senior accommodation as well as light industrial assets. Its focus will be on the mid-sized segment of the real estate market, targeting investments in smart gateway cities in Western Europe.
It is reinforced by local real estate country heads in 6 offices across Europe (UK, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Luxembourg and Switzerland).
Kohalmi said: "Occupational demand for real estate has improved during the last two years, as unemployment in the Eurozone sank below 7% for the first time since the recession. This demand increase has led to certain submarkets facing sub 5% office vacancies, which in turn can lead to real rental growth.
"Due to the lack of banks' willingness to lend, Europe has seen significantly below long-term average refurbishment and development of new real estate stock over the last 10 years. As occupiers needs and desires evolve, technology and the request for more environmentally friendly buildings is also increasingly influencing demand, this creates a real opportunity to create stock that is currently in short supply."