Norges Bank Investment Management, the body which manages Norway’s $988B sovereign wealth fund, has just appointed real estate chief investment officers for the U.S. and Europe. They have a mission to spend $25B in the two regions combined.
Per Løken will head investments in the U.S., while Romain Veber will lead European investments. Both joined Norges in 2011, with Løken having previously focused on the U.K. and Weber on Paris. Norges has around 2.5% of its assets in real estate, or around $25B, and has a mandate to double that to 5% at a pace of around $5B a year. This will be split evenly between Europe and the U.S., Norges said, and it is mainly a buyer of prime offices and high street retail. Big deals in the U.S. include the purchase of a 45% stake in a portfolio of four Boston and New York office buildings valued at $5.5B from Boston Properties. In Europe its biggest single deal came last year when it bought a €1B office and retail building on Place Vendôme in Paris. It has also been one of the few non-Asian institutional investors that has continued investing in London post-Brexit. “We will continue to invest in a number of — say, 10-plus — major global cities, and London is definitely one of those,” Norges executive board chairman Øystein Olsen said at the time of its annual results in March.