Places for People launches new fund management business

David Cowans, Places for People’s group chief executive
David Cowans, Places for People’s group chief executive

Places for People (PfP) has become the first housing association to establish a distinct fund management capability with the launch of its new PfP Capital business.

PfP Capital’s first fund will be targeted at the UK private rented sector (PRS) and will acquire 1,379 residential units from Places for People valued at around £150 million.

The PfP Capital PRS Fund is aiming to invest a further £150m in acquiring similar properties to grow the portfolio of PRS assets to more than £300m in the short to medium term. It will target assets across the UK based on population densities and the strength of local rental markets.

Places for People will retain a substantial investment in the fund and, as a not-for-dividend organisation, intends to recycle the secondary capital into the group’s business activities to accelerate the delivery of new homes and other social impact projects.

PfP CapitalPfP Capital’s management team has extensive experience of growing and managing a large portfolio of assets. The new business is led by Places for People’s former tax and treasury director Chris Jones as managing director, and former chief executive of Touchstone, Tim Saunders who takes the role of fund director.

David Cowans, group chief executive of Places for People, said: “We have always proactively sought opportunities to develop new funding models, which support the delivery of new homes and attract wider investment into the housing sector.

“Launching a fund management business and PRS fund is another first for the group, which underlines our track record in successful innovation. It will put us in a stronger position to accelerate our wider growth, enabling us to acquire and develop new assets to support both our commercial and socially-driven objectives, including building more homes and sustainable communities across the UK.”

Chris Jones added: “Places for People has been investing in PRS for more than 20 years with an impressive track record of property asset management that delivers low void rates, rental growth and value creation. PfP Capital’s ambitious approach to helping tackle the UK housing crisis presents institutional investors with a unique opportunity to invest in a PRS Fund that delivers yield immediately.”

Touchstone, Places for People’s specialist property management business, will manage the geographically diverse portfolio with a proactive asset management programme.

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