Real estate management
The fund is gradually increasing real estate investments to as much as 5 percent of its assets through a corresponding decrease in its bond holdings.
A film about our real estate management
The fund’s investments in unlisted real estate are managed by Norges Bank Real Estate Management, a separate entity with a dedicated leader group. More about the leader group.
The first investments
Real estate investments were initially in well-developed European markets and properties such as offices and retail premises. From 1 January 2013, the mandate to invest in real estate was broadened to include countries outside of Europe. In the initial phase the fund sought to invest with partners that have good knowledge of specific markets.
The fund announced in 2010 an agreement to acquire 25 percent of The Crown Estate's properties in Regent Street in London. The transaction was finalised in April 2011 and was the fund's first property purchase. This was followed by the purchase of a 50 percent stake in seven properties in and around Paris from AXA Group. In 2012, the fund bought its first property in Switzerland, followed by the first investment in Germany. It also invested in its first shopping centre and entered into the market for logistics properties through an agreement to invest in logistics facilities in 11 European countries. The fund's first real estate investments in the US were conducted in 2013, in New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston.
See all our real estate investments
The holding list is updated anually in connection with the annual reporting
Our goal is to build a global, but concentrated, real estate portfolio, and we expect to invest 1 percent of the fund in real estate in each of the next few years. The strategy is to invest in a limited number of major cities in key markets. In the US, we have picked four cities to invest in: New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco. In Europe, we will continue to invest in London and Paris, while also considering opportunities in a limited number of other cities. At the same time, we will continue to invest in logistics properties in both Europe and the US. We will also consider investing in cities outside Europe and the US in the coming years, primarily in Asia.
Before we invest in a property, we conduct a thorough due diligence of the parties involved in the transaction and the property itself, spanning financial, legal, tax, structural, operational, technical and insurance matters. Environmental factors are also part of this review. We have an ongoing dialogue with our partners about measures to improve waste management and energy and water efficiency. We often use external experts to identify any risks from materials that could harm the environment or health and so affect the financial value of the property over time.
We attach importance to our real estate investments complying with international standards for responsible investment and reporting. Since 2011, we have been a member of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). We use this framework to promote better reporting on sustainability in the real estate sector and compare our work on responsible real estate investment with others. We require that our partners submit information on the management of our properties to GRESB on an annual basis, and we use this information systematically when working with our partners so that we can gradually improve the properties’ quality, efficiency and environmental performance.
The fund’s real estate investments are generally made through Norges Bank subsidiaries to limit liability to a subsidiary’s capital. This is standard market practice and supports the bank’s goal of safeguarding the fund’s assets through prudent risk management. In May 2011, Norges Bank set up the subsidiary NBIM S.à r.l. in Luxembourg. Many of the fund’s real estate investments in mainland Europe will be channelled through the subsidiary, which will hold stakes in entities investing directly or indirectly in properties. The subsidiary’s responsibilities also include accounting, bookkeeping and transferring of rental income to Norges Bank.
Real Estate Advisory Board
The Real Estate Advisory Board acts as an advisory forum for the Chief Investment Officer of Norges Bank Real Estate Management. The board advises on proposed unlisted real estate investments, including the commercial aspects, pricing, risk and strategic rationale. All investments above a certain threshold must be presented to the board before a final decision is made.
The Real Estate Advisory Board consists of the Chief Investment Officer and Chief Risk Officer of Norges Bank Real Estate Management, and two externally appointed advisors.
Mark Burton started his real estate career in Cluttons in 1967, and his career has since included senior executive roles at United Bank of Kuwait, AXA REIM and AIG Global Real Estate Investment Europe. In 2010, he became Chief Investment Officer of the Real Estate Department at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and from 2007 to 2010 he held the same position at Abu Dhabi Investment Council. He currently serves as a board member for a number of real estate companies and organisations, including AEW UK Reit Plc (Chairman), Real Estate Credit Investments and Value Retail Plc.
Andrew Strang is a Chartered Surveyor who started his career with CB Richard Ellis and has specialised in the property investment market. He was Managing Director at Threadneedle Property Investments for 17 years, and subsequently Executive Chairman at Hermes Real Estate Investment Management. He is also a property consultant at AEW UK, Non-Executive Director at Intu Properties Plc and Capital and Counties Properties Plc.
John Wythe serves as an alternate member to the board. Mr Wythe has over 35 years of experience in fund management in the real estate industry, including as Head of Fund Management at Prudential Property Investment Managers (now M&G Real Estate). Mr Wythe serves on the Board, the Investment Committee and as Chair of the Property Group of the Church Commissioners for England. He is Chairman of The Portman Estate and a Director of The Pollen Estate. He is also a member of Investment Committees for DTZ Investors and a real estate adviser to AIA. He also serves as a board member on some of Norges Bank Investment Management’s UK investment structures.
Report on real estate investments in 2015
Investments in unlisted real estate returned 10.8 percent in 2015. The market value of the fund’s unlisted real estate investments was 180 billion kroner.
Go to the report
Our real estate team: