New name, new opportunities
In 2007, DIFA Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG changed its name to Union Investment Real Estate AG, making the existing relationship between the two companies even closer and more visible – DIFA had been part of the Union Investment Group since 2001.
“The change of company name and adoption of Union Investment branding signalled our commitment to growth in the real estate sector, and was aimed at both internal and external audiences,” says Dr. Reinhard Kutscher, Chairman of the Management Board of Union Investment Real Estate GmbH. Alongside rebranding the investment management company, the range of real estate funds available to private investors was also renamed. The DIFA-Fonds Nr. 1, DIFA-Grund and DIFA-Global funds were relabelled “UniImmo”, with each fund being given a name that clearly indicates its regional focus: UniImmo: Deutschland, UniImmo: Europa and UniImmo: Global.
The best of both worlds
“The name change has enabled us to leverage the appeal of a strong brand. In turn, the umbrella brand benefits from the professionalism and integrity we demonstrate in 23 national markets worldwide.” Changing the company name and highlighting the integration of DIFA into the Union Investment Group has certainly proved to be the right decision. DIFA already had a lot to offer the Union Investment Group when the renaming took place, not least 40 years of experience in the international property markets, which had made it one of the largest public companies for open-ended real estate funds in Germany. With assets under management of EUR 13.2 billion at the time, DIFA was already among Europe’s leading property investment Managers.
The new Union Investment Real Estate AG had a presence in 18 national markets at the time of renaming. In 2005 and 2006 alone, DIFA had invested in 11 new national markets, including Norway, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. With a combination of its own expert teams and local partners, DIFA was a valued and reliable partner in the field of real estate investment. The new name opened up further opportunities for cross-border growth, aided by the increasing internationalisation of the real estate industry. The Group has made good use of the available opportunities: today, the investment management company operates on five continents and manages assets totalling around EUR 30 billion. By investing in Australia in 2014, Union Investment expanded its horizons even further.