The strong demand for investment groups with real assets led to multiple oversubscription amounting to CHF 250 million at the opening of the Commercial Real Estate Switzerland ESG investment group and to capital commitments in the amount of CHF 200 million at the opening of the Infrastructure Global (EUR) / (CHF hedged) investment groups.
Commercial Real Estate Switzerland ESG investment group
The opening of the real estate investment group from 1 February to 31 March 2022 attracted a lot of interest from employee benefits institutions. The targeted volume of around CHF 250 million was oversubscribed several times. A total of 109 pension funds took part in the opening. The capital will be used to reduce the borrowing ratio following the acquisition in December 2021 of a high-quality portfolio, to purchase additional properties, and to make sustainable investments in the portfolio. The entitlements will be issued on 4 May 2022.
The Commercial Real Estate Switzerland ESG investment group invests in commercial properties in central locations offering stable earnings and value, and can look back on positive earnings and price development. The selective expansion of the portfolio with its clear focus on quality has paid off: since its launch in 2011, the Commercial Real Estate Switzerland investment group has posted an impressive performance of 5.16% per year (as at 31 March 2022). In a challenging market environment, the advantageous diversity of uses and the focus on active lettings management are reflected in an above-average occupancy rate of 97% (as at 31 March 2022). At the end of March 2022, the investment group held 110 properties with a market value of around CHF 2.2 billion.
Infrastructure Global (CHF hedged) / (EUR) investment groups
The two investment groups Infrastructure Global (CHF hedged) and Infrastructure Global (EUR) were successfully launched in May 2021 with a subscription volume of around CHF 200 million. The investment groups are designed as an "evergreen structure," i.e. without a fixed term. The focus is on stable and regular distributions from the operating business. They are also approved for "investments in infrastructure" in accordance with BVV 2.
In order to further increase diversification and to continue with portfolio expansion, a second subscription period took place between 26 January and 22 April 2022. Investor interest was shown in the further capital commitments of around CHF 200 million. A total of 57 investors are now invested in both investment groups, including small and larger employee benefits institutions. Investors are thus taking advantage of exclusive access to global infrastructure investments in which Swiss Life also participates through its insurance assets and employee benefits foundations for its own staff. The portfolio focuses on infrastructure investments in the areas of renewable energy, utilities, disposal, communication, transport and social infrastructure. ESG aspects are systematically taken into account within the defined Swiss Life Asset Managers investment process. Stephan Thaler, Managing Director of the Swiss Life Investment Foundation, says: "The great demand for our investment groups, even in an uncertain market environment, demonstrates investors’ confidence in the high quality of the portfolios and the long-standing expertise of Swiss Life Asset Managers in managing real-value investments."
Since 2018, Swiss Life Asset Managers has been a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are systematically integrated into the investment and risk management processes at Swiss Life Asset Managers. In the investment business with real estate and infrastructure investments, appropriate criteria are taken into account in both acquisition and management. The Commercial Real Estate Switzerland ESG investment group has also participated in the annual GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) since 2018. Since 2019, the investment group has been awarded the "Green Star" rating every year – an acknowledgement of good ESG integration in real estate investments.