Singapore-headquartered Income Insurance, previously NTUC Income, has handed over management of the company’s existing $3billion real estate portfolio to CBRE Investment Management under an investment management agreement.
Income Insurance’s portfolio includes direct and indirect holdings across the Asia Pacific, North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa.
CBRE IM has taken responsibility of the mandate from 1 January, 2023, following an extensive pitch process, the company said in a press release.
“Real estate is a strategic asset class in Income’s investment portfolio. As our investment is diversified across physical properties and funds in Singapore and abroad, we are excited to collaborate with CBRE IM and leverage their global footprint and track record with the aim of delivering good long-term returns to our insurance policyholders,” Mark Shi, chief investment officer of Income, said in the statement.
Several team members who previously managed Income’s portfolio will also be joining CBRE IM.
Income Insurance did not respond to queries from AsianInvestor for further details on their real estate team.
The insurer has allocated more than 20% of its portfolio to private and alternative assets including real estate, private equity and private credit, Shi told AsianInvestor in August 2022.
Private assets have proven effective during times of high inflation and rising interest rates, particularly for long-term investors, leading the insurer to stick with its continued allocation to private assets, Shi told AsianInvestor previously.
CBRE IM declined to provide any details to AsianInvestor on the new team or who will lead management of Income’s real estate portfolio.
The announcement comes at a time when real estate investors are having to walk a fine line between inflation and growth as they lay out allocations for 2023.
Established in 1970 as the only insurance co-operative in Singapore, Income is now a public non-listed company under NTUC Enterprise’s network of organisations.
CBRE IM is a global real estate investment management firm with $143.9 billion in assets under management at the end of September 2022.
GEARING FOR A BUMPY RIDE
Real estate markets in Asia are set to weather a transition period in 2023 as occupiers and investors review strategies in a rapidly evolving environment.
Netherlands-based pension fund PGGM is slowing the pace of its Asian property allocations as part of a worldwide brake on new investments in its €18 billion ($19.07 billion) global property portfolio.
AustralianSuper, the country’s largest superannuation fund with A$263 billion ($175 billion) of AUM, has expressed a downbeat outlook on global property markets, while singling out Australia’s economy as relatively resilient when compared to other developed markets.
Meanwhile, global industrials – all land and buildings used for industrial activities including production, manufacturing, assembly, warehousing, research, storage, and distribution – gets a thumbs up from Nuveen, the asset management arm of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
“Industrials in the US are looking healthy heading into 2023, highlighted by near-record low vacancy rates, double-digit rent growth and solid demand for warehousing space. That picture is mirrored in all key markets in Asia Pacific and Europe,” Louise Kavanagh, chief investment officer and head Asia Pacific real estate at Nuveen, told AsianInvestor recently.