The Guernsey Investment Fund has launched a property cell which will focus on acquiring land or buildings in the Bailiwick with development or refurbishment potential.
In February 2018, the Guernsey Investment Fund launched to invest in projects and businesses which have a Bailiwick of Guernsey focus or may benefit directly or indirectly the development of the Bailiwick. The shareholders of GIF include the States of Guernsey.
In its first 18 months, the technology and innovation cell has committed more than £19 million to 11 projects with investments ranging from £100,000 through to multi-millions.
“For the tech and innovation cell to have invested more than half of the total committed funds has exceeded expectations and there is a strong pipeline for future investment. The time is now right to launch the property cell which will invest directly or indirectly in property situated in the Bailiwick which will have a positive impact on, or benefit to, the economy,” said chairman Gilbert Chalk.
“The cell will look at both commercial and residential property development opportunities, including offices, retail, retail warehousing, industrial, logistics, hotel and leisure investments.”
Ravenscroft, which acts as investment manager to the fund on the tech and innovation cell, will also work on the property cell.
“Ravenscroft has considerable experience in property investment in the Channel Islands and we are excited about the new cell which will help Guernsey to continue to prosper. Land in the Bailiwick is precious and finite. Our hope is that we can work with the board to identify sites and developments which require expertise and investment to unlock their potential so that they not only return long-term capital growth to the shareholders but also contribute to the future success of the Bailiwick,” said Andy Taylor, head of property at Ravenscroft.
As with the tech and innovation cell, investments from the property cell will only be made after thorough due diligence has been completed and only then with the approval of the independent board of directors of the fund.
“The board is looking forward to seeing what opportunities there are. Some will be well-known sites and others may be new to the market. What they may have in common is that they have potential that has been unrealised due to a lack of investment. We have the investment and an experienced team of advisers whose job will be to gain planning permission and undertake refurbishment and redevelopment as well as achieving rent reviews and, where necessary, securing tenants,” said Mr Chalk.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee said:
“The States of Guernsey is pleased to see the successful investment of the fund’s tech and innovation cell, and it’s right that now we take the opportunity to pursue similar success in property.
“Remember the objective here is to better enable the States to invest the island’s investable reserves in supporting Guernsey and Guernsey’s economy in a managed and disciplined manner, whilst pursuing the same investment objectives and returns as if those investments had been made off island.
“It’s just common sense that we would rather invest on island than off island if we can. This will allow both long-term capital growth for our investment on behalf of taxpayers, but also realise opportunities to support local property development, making the most of sites and buildings that need help in reaching their full potential for islanders. We always wanted a property cell to be the next one available in the Guernsey Investment Fund and so we are pleased that it has now been launched. After it is up and running, we hope that an infrastructure cell may follow in due course.”
Oak Fund Services (Guernsey) Limited is the administrator to GIF, PricewaterhouseCoopers (CI) LLP is auditor and Ferbrache & Farrell LLP is legal counsel.