UK - London-based alternative investment house Westbury Asset Management has introduced a commercial property fund targeting institutional and high net worth investors despite recent concerns that the market is slowing down.
The Guernsey-domiciled Westbury Property Fund is a new closed ended fund investing in a portfolio of high quality commercial property throughout the UK.
The fund will be listed in both London and the Channel Islands with a target size of £245m. The minimum investment level is £30,000. Marketing has begun and it aims to close during Q1.
The fund will invest mainly in a balanced commercial property portfolio with up to 10% committed to venture property situations, and is backed by stockbrokers Teather & Greenwood.
Commenting on the launch, Richard Burrell, a founding partner of Westbury said that the period was still an “exciting time for investors to diversify away from equity and bond investments into alternative asset classes such as commercial property.
On a separate note, Westbury's first fund, the Westbury European Hedge Fund, is set to close on January 17, 2002. The fund was launched in December 2001 and has received commitments over $40m of funds under management for receipt by end March 2002.
However, the launch comes amid concerns that investors are turning away from the commercial property market. According to DTZ research UK institutional investors reduced their exposure to commercial real estate by £75m in Q3 of 2001.
The drop in investment is the first quarter of negative investment since the emerging market crisis at the end of 1998, according to DTZ.
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