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Morgan Stanley Raises €700M For Push Into Core European Property


Morgan Stanley’s real estate investment division has raised a big slug of equity for a new fund that will look to buy safe European property assets. 

The giant U.S. investment bank has raised €700M (£631M) for the Morgan Stanley Prime Property Fund Europe, PERE reported, its first core open-ended fund in Europe. 

Big managers that have traditionally managed value-add or opportunistic funds are moving into core and core-plus investing en masse, drawn by the chance to increase their fee base. Open-ended funds are appealing because the fees are regular and consistent and, unlike with closed-ended funds, you don’t have to give the money back at the end of the fund’s life. 

Blackstone started the trend of moving from opportunistic to lower risk management with its open-ended core-plus funds in the U.S. and Europe, and in October Brookfield raised more than £1B for a similar European vehicle. 

Morgan Stanley’s new fund will target different real estate asset classes, with a focus on Western Europe. 

Last year Morgan Stanley poached Paddy Bingham from Invesco Real Estate to run the fund, and according to a post on LinkedIn, it is hiring further staff to manage the portfolio once it has started buying assets. 

The fund will be the third regional open-ended fund buying prime assets managed by the company. The original Morgan Stanley Prime Property Fund is 47 years old and manages around $30B of assets in all real estate sectors across the U.S. The fund is part of the giant Odyssey index of U.S. open-ended core funds.

Morgan Stanley launched its Prime Property Fund Asia in 2017 with an initial $650M in equity.

The European fund will be the final piece of Morgan Stanley’s global real estate strategy. Its business will have two prongs: the North Haven series of higher risk value-add/opportunistic real estate funds and the three regional open-ended core funds.