Milan – The Generali Group (Generali) announces today the launch of Axis Retail Partners, a new real estate boutique focusing on shopping centre investments. The joint venture has been set up with two seasoned professionals with a strong investment track record in this asset class.
This partnership is in line with Generali’s strategy to further increase its exposure to real estate, where it is already one of the world’s leading investors through Generali Real Estate.
The continental European shopping centre sector continues to be marked by solid fundamentals and offers an interesting entry point due to the current market juncture, but it also requires a deep industry knowledge and specific skills in order to select the best investment opportunities, manage the assets, produce long term rental growth and keep risks under control. The partnership will be instrumental to achieve these targets.
Over the last ten years, shopping centre investments have accounted for an annual average of ca. € 20 billion within the retail real estate space in Europe. A first dedicated fund – Generali Shopping Centre Fund*, whose portfolio management will be delegated to Generali Real Estate S.p.A. SGR – is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2019 (upon completion of the relevant authorization process).
Axis Retail Partners is a strategic joint venture, with Generali holding a controlling stake of 51% through Generali Investments Holding S.p.A. The other partners are Florencio Beccar and Toby Smith, two highly experienced professionals in shopping centre investments and asset management, with a proven investment track record of outperformance.
The business model will be based on the strong alignment of interests between future clients and the investment manager, with Axis Retail Partners advising Generali Real Estate S.p.A. SGR on the investment selection and asset management of the fund.
Generali will initially invest € 500 million into the fund, which will be open to third party clients as well. It will invest in high quality, core, and dominant shopping centres across continental Europe, with an annual target total return of 7%.