Ubbe Strihagen, International Director of Aberdeen Property Investors
Real Estate Publishers met up with Ubbe Strihagen, International Director of Aberdeen Property Investors, aboard the company’s leased yacht at MIPIM 2008 in Cannes.
By Bernd Struben, Senior Editor Real Estate Publishers
Strihagen was clearly pleased with Aberdeen’s acquisition of DEGI from Dresdner Bank AG on December 21, 2007, which at the time of writing is still subject to the German’s BaFin approval. “This acquisition strengthens Aberdeen’s real estate activities in Germany, which is a key property and capital market in Europe, second only to the UK,” Strihagen said. With the addition of DEGI, Aberdeen’s assets under management grew by €6.4 billion to approximately €20 billion. Strihagen said that Aberdeen had been growing rapidly even without the new acquisition, growing 40%, from €10 billion to €13 billion in the past 12 months.
Mr. Strihagen also informed us that in 2005 Aberdeen launched the very first fund of property funds (AIPP) in Europe with equity commitments of €623.5 million. He said they currently have five fund of funds, three in Europe and two in Asia, representing about €2 billion, a small but growing percentage of their total assets under management.
Mr. Strihagen says it’s important for Aberdeen to have the right people on the ground in the markets where they are investing. The company recently expanded its activities into Russia, where he sees strong opportunities and stable growth, but he is not too keen on other Eastern European markets where he feels investors are not paid out for the risk level involved, and there are concerns with exit strategies. He also said that the Nordic markets are showing strong rental growth.