NETHERLANDS – Blue Sky Group, the manager of the pension assets of Dutch airline KLM, has been the first to sign up to Kempen Capital Management’s European real estate fund.

The fund, Kempen real estate securities index sampling fund, invests in listed European real estate companies, and aims to reflect the performance of the Global Property Research 250 Europe index, with adjusted weighting of the UK. It will enable investors to invest semi-passively in the indirect real estate market, and aims to provide them with sufficient liquidity.

Jan van de Pol, senior fund manager real estate at the Blue Sky Group, said it “provides a perfect complement to the existing means of gaining access to European real estate.

“In the US we’ve been using passive investments in listed real estate companies for quite some time, and it’s a positive development that these opportunities now also exist in Europe.”

The indirect real estate investment market is presently surging. Over the past ten years, the European market for listed real estate has doubled in size.

Says Peter Hans Budde, director of institutional relations at Kempen Capital Management: “This type of fund is indicative of the ongoing professionalisation and expansion of the indirect real estate market. At the end of 2002, Dutch pension fund investment in the indirect real estate market exceeded investment in the direct market for the first time.”

It is hoped that the fund will attract 120 million euros of investments from Dutch pension funds by the end of 2004.

“Semi-passive investment in listed real estate companies is an attractive option for investors who use real estate shares for the tactical or regional allocation of their entire real estate portfolio. Investors wishing to reallocate their risk budget, or those that seek limited active risk while curtailing costs, can now also make use of this form of real estate investment, “ says Kempen.

Kempen Capital Management has 4.4 billion euros in assets under management.