It is not entirely wrong to say that Jussi Rouhento is mr. Nordic healthcare real estate being the fund manager for Northern Horizon’s first and second healthcare fund, which paved the way for the unique market position that we have today within this special niche of real estate.
Launching the healthcare strategy
Fifteen years ago, none of the major Nordic real estate investors had yet realized that healthcare real estate could be an attrative investment strategy. And very few professional investors found this special asset class particularly interesting to invest in.
So Northern Horizon was a true pioneer when the company launched the first healthcare fund in the Nordics in 2007, committed to making a difference and convinced of the possibilities of the rapidly aging Nordic population, the universal healthcare system in the Nordic countries, and an increasing market demand for aged care facilities.
EUR 60m was raised from Finnish investors, and all investments went into in aged care properties in Finland. The fund invested in 27 buildings in total.
Jussi Rouhento joined Northern Horizon for the first time in 2010. For Jussi, who had experience with fund management of commercial assets from the listed real estate investment company Sponda, it was a steep learning curve to execute the fund’s targeted investment strategy in a relatively new market. But the entrepreneurial side of the role as fund manager appealed to him, and Jussi quickly built a deep understanding of the Finnish aged care market, and a strong network with local investors and local operators. Not to mention his property industry network which has resulted in many off market deals over time.
The portfolio of the first healthcare fund was successfully divested in 2016. At that time Healthcare II was long established with the same focus as Healthcare I.
In 2016, the Nordic Aged Care Fund, the company’s third healthcare fund, was also launched. Now with more capital and a far more continental European investor base e.g. institutional investors and family offices. Investors who could see opportunities in investing with the prospect of a stable return and at the same time helping to solve a growing societal challenge in the Nordics.
With new investors on board and more capital available, there was a need to diversify. The team saw exciting deal opportunities in moving into Sweden, which is a larger market with a different market structure. This new investment focus gave Jussi an even stronger platform in the Nordic healthcare market.
Back on board
In 2019, Jussi moved to Catella as Managing Director at Catella Asset Management Finland, where he has represented global investors in property investments.
But today Jussi is back under the banner of Northern Horizon and again with a focus on healthcare. Jussi has the overall responsibility for growing Northern Horizon’s social asset investment platform.
We have come a long way since the first ‘start-up’ years, but the strong commitment to our niche strategy and the energy and the abition of the healthcare team to grow remains unchanged. I feel that I have come home and look forward to being part of the journey that lies ahead of us,” says Jussi Rouhento.
When asked, Jussi mentions three areas that have been decisive for him:
Our market position
Today, Northern Horizon is well known in the Nordics for its healthcare investment strategy. We have stuck to our niche strategy and we have been able to achieve critical mass while also helping to solve a societal problem. And over time, the segment has proven to be quite resilient to e.g. economic instability.
Our role in the value chain
Northern Horizon’s role has evolved quite a bit since the first healthcare fund. We work within impact investment, and today there is a much closer interaction throughout the entire value chain. We work closely with developers, operators, and investors etc. to ensure the best possible physical conditions for the well-being and quality care of the elderly residents throughout the lifetime of our buildings.
Today, we are a highly specialized healthcare organization with local investment teams in all the countries that we invest in. With this setup, we have the professional expertise and the local network to spot investment opportunities and make attractive acquisitions that benefit our investors.
About Jussi Rouhento
Jussi Rouhento has 15 years’ experience in real estate fund management, financing, transactions, and asset management. Between 2010 and 2018, he launched and built Northern Horizon’s healthcare business as the Fund Manager of Healthcare I & II. In 2019 Jussi moved to Catella as Managing Director at Catella Asset Management Finland. Before joining Northern Horizon in 2011, Jussi Rouhento served as Investment Manager at Evli Bank. He also worked as Fund Manager at Sponda, Finnish real estate investment company, for 4 years managing three institutional non-listed real estate funds. Jussi holds a M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Tampere and a Licentiate in Real Estate Management from Helsinki University of Technology.