Cordea Savills exits from private Irish syndicate business

The London-based, pan-Europe fund manager has exited from all nine private Irish property syndicate funds it inherited as a result of the 2006 acquisition by its majority owner Savills of property services firm Hamilton Osbourne King. Cordea Savills is concentrating on its institutional clients and segregated accounts as it streamlines the business.

European fund manager Cordea Savills, has streamlined its business by exiting from the management of nine private Irish syndicate funds.

According to the firm, the nine syndicate funds were inherited by Cordea Savills when its majority-owner Savills acquired Dublin property services firm Hamilton Osbourne King in 2006 for £50 million.

The syndicate funds, which manage about €136 million of assets, including equity and debt, made up approximately 3 percent of Cordea Savills’s assets under management. The firm has exited from the business through a transfer to their management team which it inherited from Hamilton Osborne King.

Justin O’Connor, chief executive officer, told PERE, the firm would be more focused on its core business which is managing institutional commingled investment vehicles. Last year, the firm had also put in place a moratorium on launching new institutional funds given the chaos across Europe’s financial markets when it put on hold plans for a Turkey fund, for example.

“Global expansion is not on the cards in the current environment when we need to concentrate on our existing funds and clients,” said O’Connor.

In addition to focusing purely on commingled funds – Cordea Savills manages 17 funds across Europe – the firm has also been bolstering its staff to cope with the current difficult investment environment. O’Connor said the firm had increased its headcount by 25 percent in 2008 to more than 90 people today. Recent recruitments include Peter Johnson, who joined as group chief financial officer, earlier this month.

Cordea Savills is 60 percent owned by property adviser, Savills, and 40 percent owned by its management. It currently manages around €3 billion ($4.1 billion) of assets.