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Property fund was an accidental success

The initial success of the New Star property fund was more by accident than design, admits John Duffield.

New Star bought Edinburgh Fund Managers in October 2003, including a 120m property fund which was selling well despite a lack of initial marketing.

Duffield says: “After about six months, we noticed the property fund was adding around 200, 000 a day without us doing anything and we thought maybe there is a demand so we began promoting it in a big way. Now it is the best-selling property fund.”

He says growth came about after investors became disillusioned with equities in the three-year bear market and started looking at alternative investments.

Duffield says: “Commercial property unit trusts were not sold to the man in the street until about two or three years ago and we take some of the credit for that.

“They give a reasonable yield but, unlike a bond which has a fixed yield, historically rents go up and you have the prospect of capital gains so it is a kind of alternative to equity income with the security of bricks and mortar. We believe we created a market there on the use of the word ‘diversify’.”


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