Invista reports 13% fall in AUM, points to ‘challenging’ future

The UK listed fund manager says the outlook for commercial property in the UK remains ‘extremely challenging’ as it reports a 13 percent fall in the value of its assets under management for the six months to 31 May 2009.

Invista Real Estate Investment Management, the London-listed fund manager, reported a 13 percent fall in the value of its assets under management from 31 December 2008.

In a trading update posted today, the firm which manages funds on behalf of property lender Halifax Bank of Scotland, separate accounts and commingled private equity investors, said its properties under management had fallen from £6.3 billion ($10.4 billion; €7.4 billion) as of 31 December 2008, to £5.5 billion as of 31 May 2009.

The company said the fall in value came as a result of a combination of net outflows from its open-ended funds of £133 million, from other funds of £61 million and valuation write downs which totalled £638 million.

Invista said: “The outlook for the UK commercial property market remains extremely challenging and this could continue to impact negatively on some of Invista’s funds under management. Across Continental Europe, commercial property valuations are also falling although the picture varies considerably by individual market.”

“There are some signs, however, that yields may be stabilising, especially for better quality prime assets. Indeed, some transactions are taking place at levels above independent valuations.  Despite this, we remain cautious, particularly in relation to the occupier market where we anticipate that the recession will impact negatively on future rental income and therefore capital values.”

Invista used the posting to highlight what it regarded as growth areas for the business going forward. The firm, led by chief executive officer Duncan Owen, said the business would continue to focus on growing recurring management fees and that it expected to grow its fees base through acquisitions by its UK and European facing Invista Real Estate Opportunity Fund and its International Fund, an Asia facing vehicle.