Irish Life owner looking to buy properties in the Republic

Great-West Lifeco seeking to increase the size of its property portfolio to about CAN$50bn

Irish Life owner Great-West Lifeco is planning to double the size of its property portfolio within the next decade and is actively looking at buying assets in the Republic, the company has said.

Great-West, which acquired Irish Life in 2013 for €1.3 billion, currently manages about CAN$17 billion in property assets in North America, CAN$4 billion in the UK and CAN$4 billion in Ireland and mainland Europe.

The company's new head of global real estate Paul Finkbeiner told Bloomberg it is actively considering buying apartments in the Republic and in other markets, in response to demand from clients.

“We’re kind of following capital flows,” Finkbeiner told Bloomberg. “We look at our success in Canada and feel it can be replicated in the US, UK, Ireland and Europe.”



Mr Finkbeiner said the company wants to increase the size of its portfolio to about CAD$50 billion (€33.4 billion) over the next 10 years.

Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) acquired 262 apartments in south Dublin earlier this year in a deal valued at more than €100 million.

ILIM acquired the Fernback scheme from Irish builder Park Developments with plans to rent out the apartments.

The asset manager is expected to invest about €1 billion for investors over the next couple of years acquiring similar properties that will be rented to tenants.