REAL ESTATE – UK real estate research and investment firm Oxford Property Consultants has inked a deal with CB Richard Ellis.

The move will see a merger between OPC’s investment management arm with the existing UK multi-manager business of global real estate investment management firm CB Richard Ellis Investors (CBRE). Financial terms were not disclosed.

According to CBRE, the merged business – called CBRE Investors Global Multi Manager – will launch a series of funds of funds, and capitalize on opportunities for the management of indirect real estate investment portfolios.

“CBRE made an approach regarding the London business,” said OPC’s Jane Fear. She told IPE: “At the same time we wanted to de-merge our research and information business.”

Meanwhile, new company Property Funds Intelligence (majority owned by the existing management of the OPC research and information business) has acquired OPC’s research and information arm, which provides data on unlisted property vehicles.

Reading-based PFI is “a fully independent and fully functional business”, added Fear, who has been appointed managing director of the new firm. OPC founder Andrew Baum will continue in the position as chairman.

Fellow founder Jeremy Plummer and the OPC multi-manager team will transfer to CBRE Investors. Baum will continue a part-time involvement in this business as chief strategist and chair of the Global Multi-Manager investment committee, said an OPC release.

“OPC’s successful move into fund management means that it is a natural development to separate these businesses for the benefit of our staff, and our customers and clients,” said Baum in a statement.

Fear added that the de-merger would not result in job losses. “It’s a good commercial move on everyone’s behalf,” she told IPE.