Aviva Investors proposes closure of global REIT business
Aviva Investors has proposed the closure of its Global Listed Real Estate Securities business, including the Global REIT fund run by Paul Van De Vaart, as it has “insufficient scale”.
The group has placed all funds in the business under review, according to a note to clients, and said it is likely that desks in New York and London will be closed.
However, Aviva also said it was re-focusing its efforts in Asia and the real estate team there will be maintained.
The letter, written by investment sales manager John Palmer, said: “In light of the level of competition, we consider our current global listed securities business to have insufficient scale. It is therefore unable to compete effectively in standalone pure alpha global strategies.
“Though this is subject to consultation with affected employees, it is likely that the review will culminate in Aviva Investors closing the dedicated London and New York desks. It must be stressed that this review has not been driven by investment performance, with the team building up an excellent track record over the past few years.”
The Aviva Investors Global REIT fund was launched in February 2006 and has been managed by Van De Vaart.
“The future of the funds managed by the team is currently under review, but the intention is for the existing team to continue managing existing funds/mandates until such time a decision is reached,” the client note added.
Aviva executive chairman John McFarlane is currently conducting a strategic overhaul of the group, with the insurer warning up to 800 jobs at its UK business are under threat as it continues to drive through cost-cutting measures.
At the start of 2012, Aviva Investors announced plans to scale back its London-based equities desk and said 160 jobs would go from its global business.
This article was first published on Investment Week