The Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund (GMPVF) — a sub-fund of the largest local authority pension fund in the UK — has retained commercial property specialists GVA to manage its investments.
The seven year extension, awarded to GVA after a round of competitive tendering, gives the locally-based consultancy control over the venture fund’s £300m investment allocation. Expected to earn it at least one-million pound in fees, it will also advise on the development, investment, management and leasing of the fund’s current portfolio.
Profits from the GMPVF, like its parent body the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, are ploughed into retirement schemes for employees of the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester, including Salford City Council. The organisation’s chairman is Kieran Quinn, said he was pleased to continue the relationship with GVA as investment managers.
“The £300m allocation can make a significant development impact in the area whilst making commercial returns for the fund and we look forward to GVA successfully meeting our objectives,” added Quinn.
Exploring both public and private sectors, GVA will target the £300m allocated investment on a full range of projects, ranging from small developments to major strategic regional projects such as Airport City and One St. Peter’s Square.
“It’s a retention of the mandate we’ve had for the past seven years, so in many ways it’s business as usual,” explained GVA regional senior director, Mark Rawstron, “But given that the market is improving, we do anticipate being much more active in the short to medium-term.
“We have had, and continue to have, ongoing discussions with Salford City Council and their development team, and we’re actively looking for opportunities in the Salford area.
“Beyond that we have two main aims,” he added, “to generate a commercial return, and to make a difference in economic and regeneration terms in the North West market.”
In April this year the GMPVF clinched a £10m deal to acquire Chorlton Shopping Centre from Development Securities. At the time the fund’s director of pensions, Peter Morris, said: “This is a long-term investment and we will develop a plan that will see the centre improved over time, respecting the diversity of operators there.”
The Chorlton site has 16 retail units, a supermarket, first floor offices and a car park. Existing tenants include travel agency Thomas Cook, newsagents Martins, Heron Foods, Quality Save and several independent retailers.
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