Real Estate Investment Fund as an alternative for vertical integration in Unimeds


Per Helton Freitas

Essential to unburden the Unified Health System (SUS), which collapsed in several Brazilian states at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Supplementary Health is experiencing a heated moment in Brazil. According to the National Supplementary Health Agency (ANS), the number of health plan beneficiaries exceeded the mark of 49.4 million people in March 2022, which represents an increase of 31.86% compared to April. of 2021.

The potential of this market has driven the verticalization of healthcare operators, a model that allows for more efficient management and ensures the quality of the operation and integrated patient care. Another driving force in the sector is fierce competition and, as a result, companies have invested in innovation and new products to address customer needs in a more segmented and assertive manner.

In the case of the Unimed System, in 2018 the InvestCoop Asset Management, a manager dedicated to the management of the system’s financial resources. Asset was born out of medical cooperation and Seguros Unimed’s 32-year experience in managing its own and third-party assets. Its constitution represents a movement of strategic intelligence, which provides gains for the Unimed System, in addition to strengthening the brand and ensuring sustainable investments.

As part of a cooperative medical system, InvestCoop is focused on offering investments and financial solutions for the brand’s Singles and Federations and in the future it also plans to act offering investment products for cooperative doctors. In this way, a “virtuous” circle is created, in which the resources generated in the cooperative remain in the companies that are part of it, boosting new projects and businesses.

InvestCoop manages BRL 3.5 billion, of which BRL 1.5 billion in investment funds offered to the Unimed System and BRL 2 billion in managed portfolios by the Seguros Unimed group. The ANS Funds, exclusively owned by companies in the supplementary health sector, are among the asset’s products, followed by other Investment Funds, which optimize the allocation of investments by asset class with the best risk-return profile.

In 2020, InvestCoop took an important step in the supplementary health segment by instituting its first Real Estate Fund, with the objective of building the Unimed Campina Grande hospital, in Paraíba. The initiative was a success, raising R$ 112.2 million and demonstrating the market’s confidence in the Unimed brand. Another highlight was that this fund was the 1st in the Unimed System to have its launch registered in a traditional bell ringing event at B3, in May of this year.

The hospital in Campina Grande should be ready in 18 months and represents an important path for the expansion of specialized services in the region, in line with the process of verticalization of the Unimed System. The Real Estate Investment Fund was well received by the cooperatives and this innovative experience will be replicated in the construction of another hospital in the system, in Maceió.

This interest and the good results already achieved motivated InvestCoop to propose the creation of a National Real Estate Investment Fund, with funding potential estimated at R$ 2 billion. The objective is to raise funds for investments in hospitals, specialized clinics, laboratories and other services that contribute to greater independence, strengthening and growth of the Unimed System.

By encouraging cooperatives to invest their financial resources in the asset’s products, InvestCoop positions Unimed even more strongly in the supplementary health segment and inserts it into the financial market, an important source of access to resources for the development of new technologies, treatments and services. The movement also brings benefits to policyholders, since one of the main purposes is to increase access to health services, working in partnership with society to improve supplementary health care in the country.

*Helton Freitas is a public health physician, president of Seguros Unimed and Fundação Unimed, CEO of InvestCoop Asset Management and general director of Faculdade Unimed.

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