UK – Recently-established Westbury Asset Management (WAM), has launched its first real estate fund, the Westbury Property Fund, a closed end Guernsey-domiciled fund with a target size of £245m (€398m).

The new fund, which will be listed in both the Channel Islands and London, complements the hedge fund that WAM launched in December, although the two products are not linked and will remain separate trading entities. The hedge fund is due to close next week when WAM expects its asset under management total to be well in excess of the US$40m at launch.

The new fund will invest primarily in a balanced commercial portfolio with the flexibility to invest up to 10% of its assets in venture property funds. The overall objective of the fund is to create long-term income growth and capital appreciation through the acquisition of high quality UK property portfolios.

WAM has enlisted the advisory and consultancy services of Jones Lang Lasalle for the balanced portfolio and Barlows Asset Management for the venture side.

The fund is sponsored by Teather and Greenwood, which will take care primarily of the fund’s listing and marketing to institutional investors.

Says Richard Burrell, one of WAM’s founding partners: "The Westbury Property fund, with a fixed fee structure and fixed redemption date, offers investors an attractive alternative to quoted property company shares and shares in undated property investment trusts. We believe this is an exciting time for investors to diversify away from equity and bond investments into alternative asset classes such as commercial property.”

Burrell says that WAM will be launching other funds in the future. “These two funds are clearly WAM’s shop window funds and are pivotal in the company’s overall strategy to provide stable returns for investors looking to place their money in alternative investments classes.”