Henderson to reopen real estate fund

ASSET management firm Henderson said yesterday it will re-open the New Star International Property Fund, over a year after it was suspended following a spate of redemptions.

The fund, the darling of New Star founder and investment veteran John Duffield, originally flourished under his conviction that commercial property would prove resilient in the crunch. But it was subsequently brought to its knees by a rush of defections from spooked investors, forcing the firm to shut the exit on the fund in November 2008.

Mark Carpenter, the fund’s manager and Henderson’s director of retail property funds, yesterday thanked investors for their patience, adding: “The past eighteen months has been a difficult period for commercial property internationally, however, the sharp correction in prices across markets does, I believe, now offer compelling value for long-term investors.”

Henderson said the Financial Services Authority had approved the introduction of a restricted redemption share class for investors holding over £7.5m in the fund, under which those selling shares will be required to give a month’s written notice or pay a redemption charge of 10 per cent.

It is targeting a mid to long-term liquidity of around 15 to 20 per cent, though the fund will initially hold more capital to ensure it is able to meet existing redemption requests.

Henderson, led by chief executive Andrew Formica, bought New Star in a £115m deal last January, becoming the UK’s fifth-largest retail fund manager.