control.IT Unternehmensberatung GmbH (control.IT), a provider of asset and portfolio management software, and IntReal International Real Estate Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (INTREAL), Germany’s leading third-party AIFM, have established a joint venture. The new company operates as easol GmbH (easol) and offers an all-in-one IT solution, “easol solution”, for investments in real estate and other real assets such as aircraft, ships and photovoltaic plants.

easol solution consists of three parts. Its core is the first part, “easol suite”. This combines various different software products for real asset management that are established in the sector, such as SAP ERP, and iX-Haus, to form an all-in-one solution. The accompanying services, which are particularly important in the set-up and onboarding phase, are offered under the label “easol service”. Because an IT solution cannot work without secure, efficient and reliable infrastructure, all users of easol are provided with the necessary IT infrastructure (“easol infrastructure”) as the third part of the solution.

The components of easol solution have already been configured for the requirements of fund providers and real asset managers, are fully integrated and have been tested thoroughly in practice. Assets with a volume of over €30 billion are currently managed in terms of IT using easol solution. Among these assets are properties belonging to the HIH Group, including INTREAL.

Klaus Weinert, a managing director at easol, comments: “With easol suite, we offer a standardised IT solution that makes it easier to manage real assets. This saves on high consulting and implementation costs. In addition, all data within easol suite are highly consistent, meaning that the laborious process of entering data manually in different systems, which offers leads to errors, is a thing of the past.”

Markus Schmitt, also a managing director at easol, adds: “Customers can use easol suite in the cloud model in line with the principle of software as a service (SaaS). This means that they only have to rent an IT solution that is operated by us. This convenient model from the user’s perspective is currently seeing growing demand on the market.”

The new company also has an Advisory Board chaired by Prof. Wolfgang Schäfers, professor of Real Estate Management at the IREBS (University of Regensburg). The Advisory Board also includes Andreas Ertle, managing director of INTREAL, and Jan Körner, managing director of control.IT. Advisory Board Chairman Schäfers comments: “The easol ecosystem will be systematically enhanced. We are continuously observing the global market for proptechs and incorporating promising solutions. For example, easol works closely with the data room solution EVANA and the underwriting software FUEL.”

The idea behind easol is based on the community concept and the principles of a sharing economy. “The easol community is the community of users who work with easol solution on a daily basis. If an application is technologically enhanced, the improvement is also available to all users. The solution is constantly evolving in practice and from practice, while leaving enough room for individual requirements,” explains Weinert.

The managing directors Klaus Weinert and Markus Schmitt have decades of experience at the interface of IT and real assets. Klaus Weinert is a business administration graduate who has worked as a project consultant and developer since 1992. He is the founder and a managing director of control.IT. Markus Schmitt is a business graduate and managing director of IntReal Solutions GmbH. Since 2001, he has worked in a range of different sectors in the field of software development, project management, data centre management, and software as a service (SaaS) and cloud solutions.

Service AIFMs have become key players on the market for open-ended special property AIFs in Germany. This has been found by a comparison of the market shares of management AIFMs and service AIFMs in new business. Open-ended special property AIFs raised around EUR 3.6 billion in total in 2012. Service AIFMs accounted for EUR 752 million of this, corresponding to a market share of 21%. Six years later, in 2018, the share of service AIFMs has virtually tripled to 59% (EUR 4.7 billion of EUR 8.1 billion).

Michael Schneider, Managing Director of INTREAL, commented: “More than half the money that institutional investors invested in open-ended special property funds went to service AIFM funds. This confirms the trend towards the division of work into administration on the one hand and property management on the other. After around ten years, the service AIFM principle is finally established on the market. As regulatory and other administrative requirements will keep on rising, I predict that service AIFMs will continue to gain in significance.”

INTREAL plays a key role in this development. Its share of the proceeds of the three major service AIFMs has been between 30% and 50% since 2013. INTREAL has consistently raised funds of more than
EUR 1 billion per year since 2015, and in 2017 it even took in more than EUR 2 billion. Michael Schneider added: “INTREAL has succeeded in positioning itself as one of Germany’s top three service AIFMs in the first ten years of its history. The open-ended special property AIFs we manage raised a net amount of EUR 1.8 billion in 2018. This corresponds to a market share of around 38%.”

An analysis of the current net fund assets under management rather than net inflows of new money also clearly illustrates the growth of service AIFMs: In 2013 the administration specialists had a combined total of EUR 4.6 billion in net fund assets, giving them a market share of 11%. Six years later, in December 2018, service AIFM funds already have EUR 27.5 billion, which means that they have increased their net fund assets more than fivefold. At the same time, their market share has climbed to around a third.

These developments must also be considered against the backdrop of the property boom and the industry’s considerable growth. In 2009, net fund assets under management in open-ended property special funds amounted to EUR 28.6 billion in total. Just nine years later, at the end of 2018, this figure had risen to EUR 89.9 billion.

A service AIFM is a fund management company licenced by BaFin that performs all administrative duties for asset managers and sets up property funds. Work is divided between administration and asset management. Property management is performed by the asset manager. By contrast, a management AIFM has its own licence from the regulator and also manages its properties itself.
The above analysis is based on BVI statistics. The figures for the three major service AIFMs (HANSAINVEST, INTREAL and Universal Investment) are assigned to the group of service AIFMs.

Read the full-length press release” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>more 

IntReal International Real Estate Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (INTREAL) increased its assets under administration (AuA) by around a third in 2018, despite significant sales activities. After seeing growth of €5.1 billion in the previous year, INTREAL achieved new record growth in 2018 with an increase of €5.8 billion. AuA rose to a total of €24.4 billion (end of 2017: €18.6 billion). INTREAL was managing 138 property funds at the end of 2018, 24 more than in the previous year. The number of properties in the funds surpassed the 1,000 mark for the first time, climbing by 31% to reach 1,126 properties under management. At the end of 2017, the portfolios of the funds under administration comprised 857 properties.

Summing up this performance, Michael Schneider, Managing Director of INTREAL, commented that “in the tenth year of the company’s history, we once again outdid our excellent 2016 and 2017 results. We have thus reinforced our position as a leading third-party real estate AIFM and are very proud to have positioned ourselves as a particularly effective and stable market player after just under ten years.”

Read the full-length press release (English) more 

A no-deal Brexit is becoming an increasingly likely scenario. For this reason, interest from British real estate fund providers in cooperating with German or Luxembourgish third-party real estate AIFMs is soaring. Such cooperation will give British fund providers the ability to enjoy EU passporting privileges, to initiate their own funds and to sell fund units throughout the EU even after Brexit. The model is as follows: The real estate asset manager is based in the United Kingdom, and the third-party AIFM is based in Germany, for example. The latter launches the fund in accordance with German law. As the AIFM is licensed in Germany – and thus in the EU – the fund units may be sold throughout the EU via passporting rules.

Michael Schneider, Managing Director of INTREAL, commented: “In the past few months, and especially since the beginning of this year, we have been receiving an increasing volume of enquiries from asset managers in the United Kingdom. The advantages of cooperating with INTREAL are obvious: The fund providers spare themselves the costs of founding and maintaining an AIFMD-licensed branch office in the EU, while they can still initiate their funds and sell fund units EU-wide.”

Read the full-length press release (English) more 

The most important deliverable of a third-party AIFM is to provide easy online access in a manner tailored to the needs of a given client who may use it to monitor and manage their investments and to grant authorisations, as well as a functional workflow between the AIFM company and the client (IT access and workflow).

The second-most important aspect for respondents are all the deliverables that an AIFM offers in the areas of fundraising and the resolution of potential conflicts with investors. Michael Schneider, Managing Director at INTREAL, commented: “Clients emphasise in this context that the third-party AIFM should not handle these tasks in its own right. Nonetheless, it is important to respondents that they get support from the AIFM in these aspects. It is precisely what INTREAL has been offering for a considerable period of time.”

These are the main findings of a survey that INTREAL, Germany’s leading third-party AIFM for real estate, conducted in collaboration with Maximilian Kretzschmar, graduate of a master’s degree program in real estate economy at the International Real Estate Business School (IREBS), on the subject of what services and product characteristics are offered by third-party AIFMs that exceed the statutory parameters. Respondents were asked to answer primarily two questions: How should a third-party AIFM position itself, and which product characteristics play a particularly important role when selecting a third-party AIFM?

Read the full-length press release (English) more 

IntReal International Real Estate Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (INTREAL) remains on course for growth and has two strong shareholders going forward. The Hamburg-based foundation, Joachim Herz Stiftung, takes a 49% share in INTREAL, Germany’s market leader in institutional real estate fund administration. By incorporating Joachim Herz Stiftung into the group of shareholders, the HIH Group is boosting the capital base and the long-term neutrality and independence of INTREAL as a real estate Service KVG. The HIH subsidiary Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate GmbH will remain as majority shareholder.

Read the full-length press release (English) more 

More and more fund providers want to take profits, reveals a survey by INTREAL, Germany’s leading third-party real estate AIFM, of its fund partners. It found that 40 percent of those surveyed believe that now is a good time to take profits and are planning sales. However, only around a quarter of the fund providers are planning to liquidate funds completely.

Michael Schneider, Managing Director of INTREAL, explains: “Our survey shows that only a quarter of our fund partners are planning to liquidate entire funds. These cases relate mostly to older funds that have reached the end of their planned duration. In contrast, 40 percent of the fond partners want to sell individual properties in a targeted manner. This discrepancy shows that selling is not necessarily the same as fund liquidation. Most of the sale proceeds are to be reinvested – in properties.”

Read the full-length press release (English) -> more 

INTREAL Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of INTREAL, a third-party real estate AIFM, and Crem Solutions, one of the leading providers of solutions for digital property management, have agreed a strategic partnership. The objective of the cooperation is to provide a standardised IT platform for the professional management of properties.

INTREAL Solutions will contribute its long-standing integration expertise and experience in connecting property and asset managers as well as its existing IT infrastructure. In addition to operation, the solutions for interfacing with ERP and data warehouse systems are particularly notable here. Crem Solutions’ contribution to the partnership will be its iX-Haus and iX-Haus plus software with a best-in-class standard configuration. iX-Haus is one of the most successful software solutions for the management of residential and commercial properties in Germany.

Andreas Ertle, Managing Director of INTREAL, says: “In this cooperation, two strong partners are pooling their expertise. We can thus offer our clients and partners a fully integrated IT solution covering everything from the management of property and the administration of funds to investor reporting.”

Dr Christian Westphal, Managing Director of Crem Solutions, adds: “The partnership will benefit both the companies involved. The services of our iX-Haus software and INTREAL Solutions’ many years of integration experience complement each other perfectly. Both the IT platform from INTREAL Solutions and iX-Haus from Crem are already being used by many companies in the real estate and fund sectors – the partnership will result in additional synergies for our clients.”

INTREAL Solutions and Crem Solutions’ shared platform will have a modular design. Clients can select a scalable portfolio of solutions covering property, asset and fund management, including operation of the overall solution in their own data centre, according to their needs

Read the full-length press release (English) -> more 

Large sums are expected to be invested in property again by institutional investors worldwide in 2018. Based on its “Investment Intentions Survey 2018”, INREV expects around €51.1 billion to be invested in property this year. The largest share of this €51 billion will go to Europe (around 41.2 percent), followed by the USA (31.7 percent). The Asia-Pacific region (17.4 percent) is in third place.

Read the full-length press release (English) more 

Statistics from Deutsche Bundesbank and BVI at the end of the year show that the fund sector had a very good 2017. This holds true for both open-ended mutual property AIFs and open-ended special AIFs. BVI put net inflows in the mutual segment at €5.5 billion, once again considerably higher (around 30 percent) than in the previous year (2016: €4.2 billion).

Read the full-length press release (English) more