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M&G Real Estate creates capital solutions role

The real estate fund manager has appointed Martin Towns (pic) to lead a team focused on separate account strategies, joint ventures and club deals with large international investors.

M&G Real Estate is creating a new team to work with large international investors on separate account strategies, joint ventures and club deals.

The real estate fund manager, which has £20.4 billion invested in property in the UK and internationally, has appointed Martin Towns to drive the initiative in a new role, as head of capital solutions.

Towns is recruiting for another person to join him. He will report to global chief investment officer, Tony Brown.

Extending its roster of large, third-party, international clients has been a goal of M&G Real Estate’s chief executive Alex Jeffrey since he took over the business in 2013.

Brown said: “There is an increasing trend in global real estate for large international and sovereign wealth investors to partner with established fund managers on deals, joint ventures and separate accounts.

“Having already established a separate accounts division in response, we felt it was time to dedicate a senior resource to meet our aspirations in this area and to match significant deals to capital”.

Towns was previously deputy fund manager for the in-house Prudential account which
has a £9 billion UK and international property portfolio.

He said: “We see this as a sustainable trend with some of these investors at an early stage in their international investing. This includes Asian capital and some continental European investors who have domestic exposure and want diversification and enhanced returns. It’s happening all at once, from many parts of the globe”.

M&G does not have a target for capital managed, but Towns added: ‘In a few years’ time we can see this as a substantial part of our business”. He said he believed both European offices and residential were likely sectors for opportunities.