SWITZERLAND – The SFr17.5bn pension fund of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, has sold around 100 buildings in its property portfolio to Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM) in a change of strategy that will see the fund concentrate its real estate portfolio on indirect investment through Credit Suisse.

The sale worth around SFr1.2bn is the first of its kind by a Swiss pension, according to the Credit Suisse group.

The fund’s new indirect property strategy is a bid to increase returns and diversify the property portfolio.
The operation is expected to come to fruition next spring and the fund will invest in the first Swiss property fund to benefit from tax advantages.

The fund still holds around 45 buildings in a direct property portfolio.