Leading pan-European private equity real estate investment manager MARK has partnered with Credit Suisse Asset Management to acquire and manage small-scale city centre residential assets.

Named DOMA, the platform aims to amass a €1bn GAV pan-European portfolio through a phased expansion, focusing first on Germany and the Netherlands.

Led by MARK’s Chief Investment Officer Josip Kardun, former CEO of Multi, Blackstone’s largest European operating platform, DOMA will target centrally located individual dwellings and small apartment buildings typically of up to twelve units in size.

Leveraging MARK’s pan-European network and adopting a technologically-driven approach to acquisitions, DOMA will source attractively priced opportunities in city centre residential markets that are typically dominated by private individual buyers and sellers.

By aggregating granular residential assets, DOMA will enable investors to access an institutional-grade portfolio of scale that benefits from strong branding and proactive asset management led by locally-based teams.

In partnership with Credit Suisse Asset Management’s multi-manager real estate team, which has previously invested in MARK’s last-mile logistics platform Crossbay, DOMA will target an initial portfolio of €500m GAV across Germany and the Netherlands. Both countries have large urban residential markets marked by under-supply, creating strong foundations for future rental growth.

DOMA will form a key part of MARK’s multi-platform strategy, which has included specialised vehicles targeting opportunities UK residential, urban logistics and luxury retail, and will benefit from the firm’s deep residential expertise.

MARK currently manages €4.4bn in residential assets, and in 2015 launched Meyer Homes, a €600m residential development platform focused on sites across Greater London.

Josip Kardun, CIO of MARK, said: “Residential for rent has demonstrated its resilience throughout the pandemic and in recent years emerged as an attractive alternative to fixed income for institutional investors such as pension funds and insurers thanks to its promise of long-term, liability-matching income streams with defensive, counter-cyclical qualities.

“DOMA aims to replicate the success we have had with our urban logistics platform Crossbay by aggregating granular assets that institutional investors would otherwise find hard to access and achieving a portfolio premium through scale, strong branding and proactive asset management.

“Whereas institutional ownership of traditional multifamily assets is well established in Germany and the Netherlands, there is a major untapped opportunity in privately-owned smaller residential assets in prime urban locations that DOMA will look to unlock using a mix of technological solutions and our network of on-the-ground teams with deep local market knowledge and contacts.”

Sven, Schaltegger, Head Multi-Manager Real Estate at Credit Suisse Asset Management said:

“The structuring of DOMA has been a successful collaboration with MARK to create an institutional-quality European residential platform that is well-positioned to benefit from the severe supply/demand imbalances of the sector in various European countries. The granularity of the seed portfolio provides a strong fit for our residential strategy that we have pursued for our investors. In the selection of our partner, it has been important to cooperate with a team that has a value-add mindset and an active asset management approach, as this should allow unlocking an attractive return potential in a residential strategy with defensive characteristics benefitting from stable income streams.”