Big picture - Why invest in First Property Group PLC
First Property Group PLC Snapshot
At First Property we believe in investing in high yielding commercial investment property. When property values fall, yields increase and we consider buying. When property values rise, yields reduce and we consider selling. We did not foresee the credit crunch but adhering to the above philosophy kept our clients’ and our capital safe.
1. When buying for income, sustainability of income is a priority.
2. Property is illiquid:
This illiquidity can be mitigated by rental income – liquidity through income.
Over the long term it is income and not capital value movements which largely determine total investment property returns (IPD: income contributed 94% of total returns over the 10 years to 31-Dec-2013 and 73% over the 30 years to 31-Dec-2013).
3. Capital preservation:
Capital is better protected if investments yield a high income. Income dampens capital value volatility.
4. A fundamental approach to investing:
Consensus may chase a particular investment theme but that does not justify it.
5. Flexibility in the light of market changes:
Largely exited the UK commercial property market in 2005, re-entered in 2009. We act dynamically.
Reversed asset management policy of waiting until lease expiry to renew leases following onset of the credit crunch in 2008.
Recommenced development activity in the UK in May 2013 in response to government legislation relaxing the planning regime, coupled with market buoyancy.
6. An active approach to asset management (where possible):
Drive income and in turn capital values by hands-on property management, relying as much as is possible on internal resources.
7. Thinking from first principles.
Alasdair Locke, MA (Oxon) - Non-Executive Chairman
Alasdair is the former executive Chairman of Abbot Group plc, an oil services company which he founded in 1992. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange from 1995 until its sale in 2008 for £906 million to Turbo Alpha Ltd, a company controlled by a US private equity fund. He sold his remaining interest in the Group and stepped down altogether in 2009. His early career started in investment banking at Citigroup in 1974, where he specialised in shipping and oil.
Alasdair is also Chairman of Argenta Holdings plc, an unlisted holding company which trades in Lloyds of London, Chairman of Hardy Oil & Gas plc (AIM: HDY), Chairman of Motor Fuel Group Ltd, and a Non-Executive Director of Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (AIM / ASX: CFU).
Peter Moon, BSc (Econ) - Independent Non-Executive Director
Peter retired as Chief Investment Officer of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in 2009 following a career steeped in the UK investment management industry. Aside from his 17 year tenure at USS, he was a member of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) Investment Committee between 1990-1995, and more recently an adviser to Lincolnshire County Council and London Pension Authority. Earlier roles included investment management positions with British Airways Pensions, National Provident, Slater Walker and Central Board of Finance Church of England.
Additional directorships include Scottish American Investment Company plc (Independent NED) and Arden Partners plc (Independent NED).
Ben Habib, MA (Cantab) - Group Chief Executive
Ben founded First Property Group plc in 2000. He is responsible for all aspects of the operations of Fprop and its fund management business. Subject to the terms and conditions of any given fund's corporate governance, he is amongst other things responsible for property selection, pricing, due diligence (legal, commercial and technical), negotiating property purchases, financing the purchases, and the subsequent asset management of the properties and sales strategy. He is very closely involved in all aspects of the business.
Prior to setting up Fprop, he was Managing Director of a private property development company, JKL Property Ltd, from 1994 - 2000, in which he held a 30% interest. Before joining JKL, he was Finance Director of PWS Holdings plc for 5 years, a quoted Lloyd's reinsurance broker. Ben started his career in corporate finance in 1987 at Shearson Lehman Brothers. He was educated at Rugby School and Cambridge University.
George Digby, BA (Hons), ACA - Group Finance Director & Company Secretary
George joined Fprop in 2003, following a five year period of running a private accountancy consultancy. Between 1989 and 1998 he was FD of Fired Earth plc, overseeing its listing on the London Stock Exchange, a tripling of its turnover, and a doubling of its pre-tax profits. He qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1981, followed by positions with Collins Publishers and Nikon UK Ltd.
At Fprop he has overseen a rapid expansion of the fund management division, particularly from 2005, including the development of the Polish operations. He now oversees the financial accounting and reporting for 33 separate Group and underlying fund companies, incorporated both in UK and Europe.
For more information on the team please click here
First Property Group plc
32 St James's Street
Tel: +44 (0)20 7340 0270
Fax: +44 (0)20 7799 1876
Email : [email protected]
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