James Thornton, Mayfair Capital

Swiss Life Asset Managers to acquire Mayfair Capital


UK real estate investment management company Mayfair Capital Investment Management is being acquired by Swiss Life Asset Managers, part of the Swiss Life Group.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in the final quarter of the year.
 
The transaction brings together Mayfair Capital – which currently has around GBP1 billion of real estate assets under management – with a pan-European business.
 
Mayfair will continue to trade as Mayfair Capital in the UK, James Thornton will remain as chief executive and Robert Palmer as chief investment officer.
 
The acquisition of a highly-regarded UK property fund management business has been a key business objective of Swiss Life following its acquisition of businesses in France and Germany in recent years. The transaction brings together real estate teams in Switzerland, Germany, France and the UK creating a pan-European business with some GBP55.3 billion (CHF69.7 billion) of real estate assets under management and administration.
 
Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
 
Thornton (pictured) says: “The Mayfair Capital board has been looking for a strategic partner to assist with our growth strategy. The transaction will provide our clients with access to a wider range of investment solutions across the major European markets and an investment platform with significantly enhanced distribution reach.
 
“The acquisition is testament to the strength of the Mayfair Capital business, its investors and our team. With Swiss Life AM as its new owner, Mayfair Capital will be able to develop its business by entering new markets and launching new products. We are convinced that this will be very appealing and beneficial to our clients whilst giving them continuity in how their assets are managed. We look forward to being part of a like-minded and ambitious group and working with our new partners.’’
 
Swiss Life AM has the ability to provide co-investment and long term capital to new funds and is expected to invest in new funds that Mayfair Capital launches.
 
Palmer says: “Swiss Life AM is highly focussed on real estate investment and with planned co-investment capital and support from Swiss Life AM funds we can accelerate the growth of our business. The Board is united in its belief that the transaction is beneficial to clients, staff and other stakeholders in the Mayfair Capital business”.
 
Stefan Mächler, chief investment officer of the Swiss Life Group, says: "The acquisition is an important step in our growth strategy involving one of our core strategic areas. With Mayfair Capital we can expand our regional presence and strengthen our position as one of the leading institutional real estate and asset managers in Europe. The transaction will also enable us to extend our existing client relationships and gain access to new clients. We look forward to working with the experienced Mayfair Capital real estate team."
 
In the UK, Mayfair Capital manages the Property Income Trust for Charities and is adviser to the Mayfair Capital Property Unit Trust (on behalf of clients of Schroder Real Estate Capital Partners) and Mayfair Capital Commercial Property Trust (on behalf of clients of Jupiter Asset Management). In addition, the business manages two residential debt funds where the investors are a combination of pension funds and high net-worth individuals.
 
Stephen Musgrave, former CEO of Grosvenor (UK and Ireland) and Hines UK, is non-executive chairman whilst William Hill, formerly head of property at Schroders is a non-executive director. Including the two non-executives, the Mayfair team comprises 18 directors and staff.

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