Australian Pension Aware Super Launches Real Estate Platform

Pension fund aims for Aware Real Estate to manage more than A$7 billion in assets within five years.

Australian pension fund Aware Super has launched a real estate platform that it says will actively manage its directly owned Australian living, industrial, office and mixed-use property portfolio.

A press release from the pension fund says the portfolio currently consists of 11 operational assets with 99% occupancy, and eight development sites in various stages of planning. The release also says that the fund hopes the platform, called Aware Real Estate, will have A$7 billion ($4.6 billion) in assets within five years. Australian real estate investment manager Altis Property Partners will provide the new unit with support services.  

“We already have a $1.7 billion real estate portfolio, which we’re excited to further expand in the Australian market,” Aware Real Estate CEO Michelle McNally said in a statement.

The release says the property platform will help reduce members’ fees, diversify the fund’s real estate holdings and deliver strong returns. It also says the fund intends to increase its internally managed portfolio across all asset classes to 50% by 2025.

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McNally said one of the core strategic focuses of Aware Real Estate’s investment strategy is to be a leader in the build-to-rent sector. She noted that it already has 500 residential apartments across the country, and a pipeline of another 1,200 apartments Aware Real Estate intends to grow and develop.  

“Our focus is on sites close to important urban infrastructure like hospitals, schools and transport, to make sure essential workers can live closer to work and reduce commuting time,” McNally said. “By offering discounted rents to essential workers in highly desirable buildings, we not only increase the values attached to these sites, but attract reliable tenants who have employment stability and feel connected to the product.”

Aware Super, which has more than 1 million members and manages A$155 billion in assets, is one of Australia’s largest funds following its 2020 merger with VicSuper and WA Super.

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