“Denmark, at the moment, is a very attractive market for foreign investors,” says CEO Tonny Nielsen. “The residential sector is the hottest part of the market as there is a lack of apartments in the Danish capital in particular, and more people want to move to the cities for work. It is a great place to invest and generate strong returns.”
Mr. Nielsen has plenty of experience in this field, having spent seven years with a Danish pension fund before starting Aberdeen Asset Management in Denmark in 2002. “We were the first real estate fund in Denmark and managed to enter the market at the optimal time,” says Mr. Nielsen. “The fund is called Commercial Real Estate Denmark P/S and focuses on office buildings and commercial premises.”
Last year in May, Mr. Nielsen left Aberdeen and, together with Morten Madsen, established Fokus Asset Management. “When we started the Fokus Group about 18 months ago, the fund had property worth 700 million EUR. Today we have 1.3 billion EUR in assets under management and a broader customer base.”
While commercial real estate assets continue to account for the bulk of the portfolio, Fokus Asset Management is increasingly involved in residential projects. “The shortage of residential accommodation makes this area particularly interesting for investors,” acknowledges Mr. Nielsen. “That is why we are increasingly adapting to this situation. For example, we are currently working on projects in which office buildings are being converted into apartments or where new apartment blocks or student accommodations are being erected on land that would normally have had commercial premises.”
Fokus Asset Management offers investors the benefit of its many years of experience in the Danish property market. The company is authorized by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority to manage alternative investment funds. It sees itself as a complete service provider.
“We span from property management to investment management in that we handle transactions and offer strategic advisory services as well as manage the asset with a focus on adding value.” The company helps clients identify the right investment opportunities and supports them during the transaction. “We conduct a full risk analysis prior to purchase and provide complete management service once the property has been acquired,” adds Mr. Nielsen. “We also ensure that we maintain a good dialogue with tenants so that everyone benefits from the relationship.”
Fokus Asset Management offers a varied portfolio of commercial leases including offices, warehouses, logistics hubs and shop premises as well as managing residential. The company’s success has been recognized far beyond its Copenhagen headquarters.
In June of this year, the founding partners were delighted to accept the accolade of Manager of the Year – Newcomer at the PIE European Property Investors Awards 2017 held in Plaisterers’ Hall, London. “The award was the icing on the cake after a year of dedicated hard work from all of our staff,” says Mr. Nielsen. “It was all the sweeter in light of the prestigious names we were shortlisted with.”
Among other categories, nominated managers included EQT, AXA Investment Managers, Blackrock, Allianz Real Estate, Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas, Savills and UBS. These are the companies that Fokus Asset Management hopes to continue to keep up with as it pursues its aim of being the leading asset manager in Denmark.