CBRE & GFI’s Innovative Real Estate Trading Portal Attracts Growing Interest from Investors

London - 23 September 2010

Celebrating its one year anniversary this month, PropertyMatch highlights its contribution to accelerating the growth of the indirect funds market and to attracting new investors to the asset class.

CB Richard Ellis (“CBRE”) and GFI today mark the one year anniversary of PropertyMatch, a screen-based secondary trading portal dedicated to unlisted real estate funds, which seeks to improve price discovery for buyers and sellers of unlisted funds.

Since the portal was launched in September 2009, the screen has more than doubled the number of real estate funds for which it provides pricing, with 40 funds now benefiting from daily pricing, and it has facilitated more than £250 million worth of trades. Launched 12 months ago, the success of PropertyMatch highlights the value of improved transparency and liquidity, with the portal encouraging new investors to access the market through its secure and reliable trading platform.

Commenting on the development of the product since its launch a year ago, Paul Robinson, Executive Director of CBRE Real Estate Finance, said:

“It is very exciting to see the amount of interest that PropertyMatch is creating in the indirect property fund market. Previously investors were favouring REITs over indirect real estate funds, apprehensive of trading in the seemingly closed, opaque and illiquid market of indirect property funds. However, the pricing window that the portal creates has given investors more confidence in unlocking value in the sector.

Michael Levi, Head of Indirect Property at GFI said that this has been “Driven by improved transparency around pricing, the market is experiencing greater liquidity as new market entrants find reassurance in PropertyMatch and the common pricing portal it has established for the sector. It has attracted a significant number of users, with private equity houses, hedge funds and banks now employing the portal to gain access to the indirect market. We are particularly encouraged by requests from investors who have benefited from PropertyMatch in the UK for us to consider rolling out this service across Europe.”

Fund managers, especially multi managers, are finding PropertyMatch an invaluable tool in improving the efficiency of trades confident in the knowledge that the prices are right and fair. Another key attraction of the portal is the anonymity that it provides buyers and sellers. Investors’ identities are not revealed until the trade is being processed.

Commenting on the evolution of PropertyMatch, Alistair Dryer, Fund Manager at the Global Real Estate Multi-Manager Team at Aviva Investors, said:
“CBRE-GFI’s innovative product continues to provide a much needed pricing window for the indirect fund industry. The increase in volume of trades that PropertyMatch has facilitated is indicative of the value greater transparency and liquidity brings to the market.”

Paul Robinson adds:

“The combination of these factors creates a secure and transparent trading platform that is having a positive impact on the market and aiding recovery through fair pricing.”

Earlier in the year PropertyMatch carried out the first electronic online auction of its kind in units in an unlisted real estate fund. Users were given advance notice of the auction and the ensuing auction process. There were 112,400 units of the Blackrock UK Property Unit Trust put on offer and prospective investors were afforded the opportunity to bid for these on a price per unit basis.

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