Boost to Society property fund

The Oddfellows has appointed Christopher Dee LLP to asset manage its property investment portfolio. The Fund provides returns for the Society’s 126 Branches, as well as central funds, and has a current value in the region of £50m.

The appointment follows the retirement of the Oddfellows' in-house property manager earlier this year. Christopher Dee has provided strategic property advice to the Society for over 20 years, but will now take up the discretionary role and report directly to the Chief Executive, Jane Nelson.

The unitized property fund (UU(P)IF) provides returns for the Society’s 126 Branches as well as central funds and has a current value in the region of £50m, consisting of a diverse fund of commercial property assets, spread across the UK. The Fund holds investments in locations including central Manchester, Edinburgh, South Kensington and Notting Hill in London. Tenants include Aldi Supermarkets, Travelodge Hotels and Network Rail.

One of the first actions undertaken by the new management team has been to raise bank debt for the first time in the Fund’s history. In partnership with Rothschild & Co, the Society has raised £16m of additional funds which will now be invested into the Fund.

Christopher Jones MRICS will act as Property Fund Manager with the support of the wider Christopher Dee team. 

Jane Nelson, CEO of the Oddfellows commented: “Both Chris and Christopher Dee have worked closely with us over many years and I am pleased to be able to formalise their appointment. I look forward to successfully growing the investment fund with their and Rothschild & Co’s support over the coming years for the ongoing benefit of all our unit holders.”

Chris Jones, partner at Christopher Dee commented: “We are delighted to be consolidating our relationship with the Oddfellows who have been a close client of the firm since we first established the business in the late 1990s. For 2017, our focus is on investing the recently raised funds and working the existing core assets to drive returns.”

Ros Harper, Director at Rothschild & Co, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have been selected by the Oddfellows to provide funding through our Real Estate Debt Management platform. This offering, focused on the regional markets, provides senior debt facilities, secured against UK commercial real estate, to property companies and investors.  We look forward to working closely with the Society and Christopher Dee to support their commercial investment property portfolio strategy over the long-term.”