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Insight plans Aim listing for property manager Invista

Insight Investment is to float its property fund management arm on the Alternative Investment Market by the end of the month.

The new company will be called Invista Real Estate Management. Parent com- pany HBOS, which is expected to retain a 55 per cent stake, says the deal will raise 100m which will be used to fund expansion plans.

Invista chief executive Duncan Owen says the company will look to roll out new property funds, with plans for UK residential and European real estate vehicles, under the HBOS and Halifax brand names.

Invista has 8bn of assets under management across 15 property funds but will focus on European and UK residential property initially as only 1bn of its assets are invested in these sectors.

He says the company is listing on Aim to avoid related party issues with FTSE-listed sister company Insight.

Since Owen joined Insight in October 2003, property fund assets under management have doubled.

He says: “Like HBOS, up to now we have been fairly UK-centric and focused on the traditional commercial property market. We believe European property has fantastic growth opportunities and so our funds could now grow very quickly.”

“We may look further afield in due course but will remain a fund manager, not a property company. The big challenge is to evolve to keep on the same trajectory of growth.”

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