Last year was a good year for Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors. We recorded a double-digit return for the fifth successive year and invested capital increased to € 13 billion. The year began with the recruitment of a completely new Supervisory Board. In addition to this, Rianne Vedder was appointed Chief Financial & Risk Officer and second statutory director. We also made solid progress on the spearheads in our Business Plan Move up to the Next Level – client focus, sustainability and internationalisation.
In connection with the client focus spearhead, Bouwinvest conducted its first ever extensive reputation survey. We interviewed 45 of our most important stakeholders for this survey. Clients, consultants that advise pension funds, our international partners, Dutch developers and municipal authorities gave us an average score of 7.8. We scored highly on items such as entrepreneurship, solidity, enthusiasm, collaboration, expertise and track record. We want to maintain those strengths, but there is also room for improvement. Our stakeholders expect us to be more transparent, to improve the information we give them and to have a clear profile on the sustainability front. In 2019, we increased the number of clients to 25 and we attracted € 340 million in new capital to be invested.
Our invested capital scored above average on the sustainability front. More than 80% of our portfolio has a GRESB four or five-star rating. Our Healthcare Fund made particularly strong progress last year, with a leap to four stars, from one star the previous year. And GRESB named our Hotel Fund global sector-leader for the second year in a row.
We also made solid progress in terms of the internationalisation of our business. We opened our Sydney office and our New York office is scheduled to open in early 2020. Our three international mandates in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific now have a total of € 5 billion in entrusted capital, with € 3.6 billion of this already invested. In 2019, Bouwinvest signed some € 0.5 billion in new international transactions. These included investments in logistics real estate in Australia, rental homes in China, offices in Northern Europe, offices in Asian metropolitan areas and affordable rental homes in North America.
Our Dutch sector funds also had a good year in 2019. For instance, the funds acquired € 540 million in real estate assets. Our investments included homes in the mid-rental segment, in Delft (Bethelpark), Ede (Simon Stevin), Haarlem (De Meester), Zwolle (Breezicht) and Eindhoven (De gebroeders). We acquired properties in Heerenveen, Harderwijk and Zoetermeer for our Healthcare Fund. The Office Fund saw the delivery of the former Citroën buildings (The Olympic Amsterdam) in Amsterdam-Zuid. And the Retail Fund completed the redevelopment of Goverwelle shopping centre in Gouda and Muntpassage shopping centre in Weert.
We attach a great deal of importance to being a good employer. After all, our results depend on the commitment and dedication of our employees. We scored 7.8 in last year’s employee satisfaction survey, once again making Bouwinvest one of the ‘best employers in the financial sector’.
The outlook for the funds and mandates for the coming period will depend strongly on the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The global impact of this pandemic on society as a whole and the world’s economy is currently uncertain. We have taken measures to safeguard the continuity of our services, but cannot at this time say what impact this pandemic will have on our business and the returns on our invested capital.
I would like to thank our clients for their trust in Bouwinvest over the past year. I would also like to thank our employees for their commitment and collaboration, and their contribution to our excellent results.
Dick van Hal, CEO and statutory director