Corporate overview 

Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance is an investment manager specialising in real estate and mortgage investments for institutional investors.

With €25.6bn assets under management, we are the most active real estate and mortgage investment manager in the Netherlands, offering services in real estate sectors such as residential, healthcare, retail and residential mortgages. We offer services to 70 institutional clients (predominantly pension funds) through separate accounts, commingled vehicles and funds of funds. The focus of Syntrus Achmea is to achieve stable income returns and long-term capital appreciation by value-enhancement strategies through active asset management. Syntrus Achmea and our legal predecessors have been active on the Dutch real estate and mortgage market for more than 60 years and have a well-established and proven track record.

The direct investments comprise predominantly residential, retail and healthcare properties in the Netherlands. The indirect investments are managed through separate accounts (multimanager activities) and pooled vehicles.

The pooled vehicles have different investment strategies (ranging from core to opportunistic) and geographical allocations (Europe, North America and Asia Pacific). Over €1bn of capital is invested in 40 non-listed property vehicles in fund of funds structures worldwide since 2004.

Syntrus Achmea is part of Achmea, the holding company of a group of strong, successful brands in financial (insurance) services. Within the organisational structure Syntrus Achmea has its own profit and loss account.

Investment principles & strategy

Our investment approach is based on our clients’ goals and investment beliefs and recorded in a portfolio plan, developed in consultation with the institutional investor and revised on a yearly basis. And is aligned with our pledge to our stakeholders that we will pursue a strategy of Meaningful Investing. Syntrus Achmea wants to contribute to a sustainable future for all our stakeholders: our clients and shareholders of course, but also in a broader sense society, the environment and real estate users. We aim to make this contribution by ensuring that the real estate and mortgage investments we make on behalf of our clients not only generate stable financial yields, but also have a beneficial social impact.

We understand that real estate and mortgages can play a facilitating role in the cities where we already operate or wish to operate in future. By cooperating with the right partners, we can for instance ensure that our investments have an impact on the local and wider economy, on action to tackle climate change, on the development of social structures in communities and even on the effective functioning of all or part of a city. This is how we put Meaningful Investing into practice. 

Sector forecasts

RESIDENTIAL: The Netherlands is becoming more densely populated, older and more diverse. The number of households is increasing and the construction of new homes remains structurally insufficient to eliminate the housing shortage. In the short term this shortage will actually increase further. As a result, the vacancy risk is low. The coronavirus is causing uncertainty for the housing market in the short term, which means that a brief dip in prices may be expected. In the rental market, this will mainly have an adverse impact on the prime segments, while the other segments benefit from the housing shortage.

MORTGAGES: The credit rating for Dutch residential mortgages lies between that of government bonds and investment-grade corporate bonds, which means that the risk is relatively low. The return, however, is higher than the swap rate, while margins are stable. The origination of new residential mortgages will depend strongly on developments in the housing market. In the short term there will be a temporary and limited price correction prompted by the deteriorating economic climate. Mortgage origination will decline as a result, but stagnation will not occur thanks to refinancing (remortgagers).

HEALTHCARE: The Dutch healthcare real estate market offers plenty of pros- pects for financially attractive, future-proof investments that also make a positive contribution to society. The growth and accelerated ageing of the population are causing rising demand for suitable residential units where simpler or more complex care can be provided. Instead of excess supply, there is actually a shortage of suitable, marketable healthcare real estate. Because domestic and foreign investors want to invest in this asset category, which is immune to economic downturns, these assets are becoming ever scarcer and prices are rising.

RETAIL: The Dutch retail market will be searching for a new equilibrium in the coming years. In some shopping areas vacancy rates are rising, footfall is declining and the impact of e-commerce is substantial. In others, retailers are expanding, new concept stores are opening up and specialist shops and supermarkets are thriving. The recent developments related to COVID -19 underline the importance of a sufficiently diversified portfolio. Shopping areas that include convenience stores and in which daily necessities play a major role are relatively immune to economic downturns.

MIXED-USE: Mixed-use investments facilitate the adaptability of cities. Urbanisation is set to continue, irrespective of COVID-19. But how do you ensure that this growth does not diminish the attractiveness of cities? The answer is: densification, which means using space more intensively and flexibly. The bigger Dutch cities will be focusing their efforts on densification in the years ahead, with new construction and the transformation of existing buildings into places for housing, work, care, sport and recreation.

Strategic corporate development

In March 2020 COVID-19 brought an end to six years of economic growth in the Netherlands. The end of the crisis is not yet in sight and there is considerable uncertainty.

The economic consequences are visible in sectors such as aviation, hospitality and retail. The government has used its biggest ever financial support package to try to keep the economy running, but will be unable to avert a recession. It is difficult to predict the depth and duration of the economic crisis and therefore also the implications for investments in real estate and mortgages. The fate of the economy will depend heavily on how the virus outbreak continues to evolve and on the development of a vaccine. There is also uncertainty about the economic consequences of government measures to curb the pandemic.

Since it is realistic to expect a scenario of low interest rates to continue in the longer term, risk premiums will ensure that real estate remains a relatively attractive investment. In the short and medium term this is likely to continue to drive demand for real estate. The initial yields that investors are willing to accept on real estate investments are expected to remain relatively low as well.

Performance verification

Performance is measured against relevant benchmark(s), ie, MSCI which are the accepted standard(s) in each of the regions where Syntrus Achmea operates and whereby, we also adhere to our five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are convinced that our ESG management can contribute to a healthy and sustainable communities for current and future generations.

Performance verification

COMPLIANCE STATEMENT

Syntrus Achmea B.V. (“Syntrus Achmea”), having its registered office in Amsterdam (Chamber of Commerce no. 33306313), is authorised by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets as intended in article 2:65 sub a of the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht, hereinafter referred to as: “Wft”). This authorisation allows the authorised manager to manage as intended in article 1:1 Wft and authorised to manage individual assets and to advice regarding financial instruments in the exercise of profession or business.The information in this document is intended for professional investors. The information in this document is intended for orientation purposes only and does not constitute a proposal or an offer, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision.

This information therefore does not offer any party the opportunity to subscribe for a fund or to acquire or obtain financial instruments, personal investment advice or other financial services in any other way. No guarantees or statements are given concerning the accuracy and completeness of the information. No rights can be derived of the information, recommendations and calculated values provided. The information contained in this document is indicative only and may be subject to change may be changed without further notification. The value of investments may fluctuate. Results achieved in the past offer no guarantee for the future. All information in this document is owned by or licensed to Syntrus Achmea and is protected by intellectual property rights. It is not permitted to copy, reproduce or distribute the contents of this document or parts thereof in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Syntrus Achmea.