Thursday 10 March 2016 12:01 am

Former FA and Manchester City chairman David Bernstein joins advisory board at property investment firm Cogress

Kasmira Jefford covers retail, consumer and property news at City A.M.

Kasmira Jefford covers retail, consumer and property news at City A.M.

An investment platform that allows consumers to invest in high-end developments has bolstered its advisory board after hiring former Manchester City chairman and retail veteran David Bernstein.

Cogress, an open equity platform, was founded by Israeli entrepreneur Tal Orly in 2014 with the aim of making prime London residential and commercial developments accessible to private investors. 

Since its launch it has since invested in 29 projects with a gross development value of £500m and an average expected return on current UK investments of over 21 per cent per year. 

Investors have to spend at least £20,000 and pitch in for the length of the project, which usually ranges between 18 and 36 months depending on the scheme. 

In February, Cogress successfully raised £1.35m in 24 hours to fund a 5,909 sq ft residential project in Fulham, west London, comprising of four new-build luxury townhouses.

Bernstein, a well-known figure in company boardrooms, is currently chairman of fashion chain Ted Baker and previously held the position at French Connection, Blacks Leisure, the FA and Wembley Stadium.

He said he decided to join the business after meeting Orly and has already personally invested in two of Cogress's developments: “I found it really appealing that you have the ability to match individual investors with requirements for specific the investments with the properties themselves. It allows people to get involved in specific project."

"I can't bring heavy property expertise – they don't need that – but I can bring a wider ranger of experience and help with strategic development, testing ideas and acting as a sounding board as well as possibly bringing connections and other people into this area." 

Orly said:" We are pleased to welcome David as the newest member of our advisory board. He is perfectly positioned to accelerate the continued growth of Cogress here in the UK. To have such a distinguished businessman, who has honed his business experience in the sporting and commercial sectors, should further boost our offerings of intelligent investment opportunities for our community of investors.”