Henderson appoints head of £1.2bn UK fund

Michael Neal has joined Henderson from Goodman Property Investors to manage the firm’s retail warehouse fund. The fund, which started in 2001, owns assets worth more than £1.2bn.

The London-based asset manager, Henderson Global Investors, has appointed Michael Neal as director of property for its £1.2 billion (€1.5 billion; $2.3 billion) retail vehicle, the UK Retail Warehouse Fund.

Neal joins Henderson from Goodman Property Investors, which was taken over by Aberdeen Property Management in May. At Goodman he was responsible for the fund management of Goodman’s two retail park funds; the £550 million Goodman UK Retail Parks Trust and the Two Rivers Trust valued at more than £200 million. He has spent more than 14 years in the retail property industry and also held positions at quoted property company Hammerson, supermarket group J Sainsbury’s and UK DIY retailer Homebase.

Henderson launched the UK Retail Warehouse Fund in July 2001 with less than £200 million of equity. It is structured as a Jersey Property Unit Trust in which the unit holders have an undivided beneficial interest in the assets. In 2006, investors agreed to extend the fund’s life by seven years to December 2015. It owns 20 prime retail parks with a strong presence in London and the South East.  As of the end of 2007, Henderson had £59.2 billion in assets under management.