West End of London Property Unit Trust

The Challenge

Unitholders in Schroder’s West End of London Property Unit Trust (WELPUT), launched in 2001, have had an ongoing requirement for liquidity in their unit holdings. The fund was converted to a semi-open ended structure in October 2014, with an annual liquidity window allowing both redemptions and subscriptions.  This restructuring created a two-tier challenge from the perspective of PropertyMatch.  Firstly, the requirement to provide secondary market liquidity for any redeeming unitholders during the liquidity window and secondly, providing intra-window transactional capability.

The Solution

Alongside the CBRE Capital Advisors Equity Raising platform, who have been mandated by Schroder to raise fresh equity to fund redemptions, a combined value of £517m units have changed hands.  This figure reflects just over one third of the fund’s total NAV.  Of this volume, £162m has been transacted to match off redemptions for the manager and a further £355m has changed hands through 82 individual secondary market transactions.  Many of the secondary transactions have involved either buyers or sellers scaling their entry into, or averaging their exit from the fund.  In 2013, PropertyMatch negotiated the exit of a US Private Equity Real Estate Fund via 12 transactions, allowing them to stagger a sale of c.£50m without moving pricing against themselves.  Transactions over the past 5 years have ranged in price from a 5% premium to and 15% discount.