As family offices target German property, local real estate group sets up own family office

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A second generation family-owned property group based in Germany has recently set up a family office and is also attracting a lot of interest from other families to invest in local commercial property.

The two families behind Dahlke Immobilien set up the Dahlke-Theyssen family office to invest in commercial property. The group is typically looking to do property deals between €1 million and €10 million, says Alexander Dahlke, managing director of the business.

“The family office was set up for us to do deals only for the two families that own the property group,” says Dahlke. “It isn’t about doing deals with other families.”

The other partner is the Theyssen family, who also made their money in real estate and joined forces with the Dahlke property group fourteen years ago. Alexander’s father set up the business in the early 1950s, which developed residential blocks. Alexander took over the business after his father’s death in 2000 and has since concentrated the firm’s efforts in the commercial property sector. Now 95% of Dahlke’s transactions are commercial property, mostly in the retail sector, but also office blocks and locations linked to logistics, says Alexander.  

He adds that family offices have developed an appetite for commercial property in Germany because it is viewed as a secure investment that yields good returns. “That demand has increased with the Brexit vote in the UK. More big investors are looking at Germany,” says Alexander.

Among international family offices investing in the German property sector are Israeli ones, says Alexander. “We are dealing with a couple of Israel-based family offices. Their home market is too small for the money they want to invest and they are increasingly looking abroad to do deals.” All work with other family offices goes through Dahlke’s property division.

Such is the demand for commercial property in Germany that one family office has actually appointed Alexander as its managing director for their German business. “They wanted someone on the ground with local knowledge,” says Alexander.