Aviva to launch property fund

Aviva Investors, the asset management arm of the insurance group, is poised to launch a £250m fund to take advantage of the depressed commercial property market. Aviva’s real estate team, which is headed by chief executive Ian Womack, is understood to have begun contacting potential investors for the so-called “opportunities fund” ahead of an official launch. The fund – which will have a five-year lifespan and is likely to invest only in existing properties, not new builds – is expected to be led by Chris Laxton. It will focus on secure tenants and shie away from speculative developments.