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Hamburg is easily the second-most important domicile for
property funds (both mutual and institutional funds) in Germany, after Frankfurt. The city’s
market share is 35.7 percent. At present, property funds worth c. 84 billion euros in net fund
assets are managed in Hamburg. In addition, Germany’s northern-most metropolis shows a
brisk growth dynamic: The net fund assets under management by Hamburg-based AIF
management companies doubled from c. 40 to c. 84 billion euros over the past five years. As
a result, the city expanded its share of the market considerably during the same time period
(up to around 36 percent), and is closing in on Frankfurt. To be sure, Germany’s financial
metropolis is growing as well, in absolute figures. But the market share of Frankfurt shrank
from around 53.5 percent in 2015 to around 45.7 percent in 2020.

These are the key finding of an analysis of Hamburg as domicile of property funds, which
was undertaken by the third-party AIFMs HANSAINVEST and INTREAL. It is based on data
provided by the BVI Federal Investment and Asset Management Association.

Ludger Wibbeke, the Managing Director of HANSAINVEST, commented: “Hamburg has
always been one of the most important financial centres in Germany. The role was facilitated
by the city’s major port, often considered Germany’s gateway to the world. In the real estate
sector, the city has evolved into the country’s second-most important investment fund
domicile. There are a number of factors conducive to this development in Hamburg: well
trained professionals, a long history of investment fund finance that ultimately goes back to
the many shipping investment funds and to ship finance in general, as well as the local
presence of corporate clusters, consisting of fund providers, banks and consultancy firms.
But the survey also revealed how important the investment fund industry is for Hamburg’s
economy. It creates many high-skilled jobs.”

Michael Schneider, Managing Director at INTREAL, said: “This development was driven not
least by the third-party AIFMs that were set up for the real estate sector about ten years ago.
With their fast growth in this segment, both HANSAINVEST and INTREAL have helped
Hamburg to prosper as a fund location during the past decade.”

Here are some of the other survey findings: Germany’s investment fund business is
essentially concentrated in five centres: the regions of Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Munich
as well as the Rhine regions of Cologne and Düsseldorf. Frankfurt am Main clearly takes the
lead with 106 billion euros in assets under management. After Hamburg with its managed
assets of c. 84 billion euros, the Munich region ranks third with a market share of around
11 percent or 24.8 billion euros in net fund assets. The two Rhine regions of Cologne and
Düsseldorf claim a combined total of c. 18 billion euros. Ludger Wibbeke commented: “The
property fund business in Germany is essentially concentrated in the regions of Frankfurt and Hamburg. Between them, the two account for more than 80 percent of the property fund
market.”

The local property fund market in Hamburg

The local property fund market in Hamburg is dominated by five fund providers:
HANSAINVEST Hanseatische Investment GmbH and HANSAINVEST Real Assets
(combined by the survey into HANSAINVEST Group), INTREAL, Union Investment, and
Warburg-HIH Invest. When considering only the segment of institutional funds—meaning
funds for institutional investors—Hamburg actually turns out to be Germany’s leading fund
domicile with a share of 37 percent, ahead of Frankfurt (31.9 percent).

The growth of this segment is driven primarily by two companies, one being HANSAINVEST,
the other INTREAL. Both HANSAINVEST and INTREAL more than tripled the net fund
assets under management during the past five years.

Michael Schneider elaborates: “Both HANSAINVEST and INTREAL have shown a
remarkable growth performance over the past ten years. The idea that got everything started
was to divide the labour between property management and property administration. Today,
the concept has become firmly established in the industry, and third-party AIFMs keep
expanding their market share.”

A word on the methodology: All real estate AIFMs that are BVI members were allocated to a
location based on their principal place of business. The findings represent the entire net fund
assets under management as reported by the BVI. The state of the dataset is 31 October
2020.

The survey can be downloaded free of charge via the link below (only German version
available): Download survey

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