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Greenman first in 'passport' deal


An Edeka supermarket in Germany

An Edeka supermarket in Germany

An Edeka supermarket in Germany

Greenman Investments has become the first Irish-owned investment manager to be approved by the Central Bank of Ireland as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager putting money into commercial real estate overseas.

The move comes on the back of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) which came in two years ago. That directive requires investment firms to distinguish between the investment fund and the fund manager, and imposes a number of different obligations on both.

The legislation requires AIFMs to meet strict minimum capital requirements and to set rigorous risk limits for the AIFs they manage.

The AIFMD is a piece of legislation that was created as the EU's response to the global financial crisis prompted by the fall of Lehman Brothers. It was enacted across the EU in July 2013 with investor security and investment transparency at its core. It requires fund originators and managers, who previously were not required to be authorised, to be authorised by the regulatory authority in their home member state.

Greenman Investments, which is Irish based but also has offices in Luxembourg and Germany, aims to provide Irish investors with an opportunity to invest in real estate funds which own large German food retailing stores and neighbourhood shopping centres.

Greenman currently operates 18 of these centres throughout Germany close to €100m assets under management.

Greenman's authorisation includes the entitlement to "passport" their services to other EU nations and market their funds to investors in Ireland, the UK, Germany, France and Luxembourg.

"We saw AIFMD as a real advantage and embraced its concept. In early 2012 we sat down with our legal advisor Joe Beashel of Matheson, and planned a route-map towards authorisation. We are the first Irish-owned investment fund manager which the Central Bank have approved to passport their services to Luxembourg-based investment funds.

"This first mover advantage gives us an excellent opportunity to grow our investor base both in Ireland and in the EU," said John Wilkinson, Greenman's CEO.

In late March Greenman will launch their first fund under AIFMD, Greenman Retail+, which hopes to collect up to €50m of investment from Irish pension funds and individual investors to purchase a portfolio of German retail neighbourhood centres.

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The primary anchor tenants for the portfolio will include top retailers Aldi, Lidl, Edeka and Rewe.

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