AXA IM's real assets business buys real estate boutique Eureka

AXA Investment Managers’ real assets unit acquired Eureka Funds Management, a Sydney-based manager of core real estate assets with A$5 billion ($3.7 billion) in assets under management, said spokesmen for both companies.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a telephone interview, Bob Kelly, managing director of newly renamed Eureka — Real Assets, said his firm began partnering with AXA IM, investing on behalf of the firm's clients in Australia, following its decision to exit Australia's real estate market in 2010. The acquisition, which was completed last week, should position the business for further growth, he said.

Mr. Kelly said the bulk of Eureka's A$5 billion in institutional assets under management come from separate account mandates, a trend that should accelerate as Australian super funds grow ever larger on the back of consolidation and mandated contributions.

The transaction — part of AXA’s ongoing global expansion for its €66 billion ($73.6 billion) real estate and infrastructure arm — provides the firm with exposure “to one of the two core real estate markets in Asia, alongside Japan, where AXA IM – Real Assets has invested actively for more than a decade,” said Frank Khoo, the firm's head of Asia, in a joint news release Thursday.

Mr. Khoo said with the Australian piece of the puzzle, the firm's Japanese investment center, its business development and client servicing office in Singapore, and an office opened in Seoul just over a year ago, AXA is well positioned to serve Asian institutions, whether they're looking to invest in the region or globally.

Meanwhile, Eureka's management of debt funds will allow AXA to extend its €13 billion global real estate and infrastructure debt platform into Australia as well, said the news release.