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Adviser concern at Aviva property offer

An adviser has slammed Aviva Investors for drumming up business in its flagship property trust despite a large majority of the fund being held in cash.

Chadwicks Financial Services director Richard Ross says Aviva is offering a discount of 2 per cent on initial investments despite almost 30 per
cent of the fund being held in cash and having a void rate of 13 per cent in January.

Ross says the move is putting shareholder interests ahead of investors, considering that hundreds of millions of pounds held in the fund is in
cash already.

He says: “I went to a presentation and it was apparent that the group has been through a terrible time. They have identified some properties but even if they buy, they will still be overweight cash before they attract this extra money in.”

The Aviva Investors property trust is managed by Philip Neil. The fund has £1.64bn of assets and had over £4bn at its height in 2007.

A spokeswoman for Aviva says: “The fund is one of a number in the Oeic range that have been discounted for the Isa season. The firm has also bought two further properties in February, including one for £55m. We also feel the void rates are in line with the market.”

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